Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Thoughts on turning 25 // Musings

I recently turned 25 and the thought of being mid-twenties excites and scares me at the same time.

All us twenty something year olds have come a long way from 16 and I've never felt more confident yet less confident about myself and the future than I have right now. It's a weird place to be. I feel confidence in certain things, such as my appearance, my sense of style, that I'm surrounding myself with the right people, that I can walk away from a person or situation that proves to be nothing but toxic. I feel (hope) that I've finally mastered the art of small talk and introducing myself to people at events and confident that I'm able to question things, the status quo and think for myself; among many other things. However, I still struggle with confidence in terms of my career, relationships and my own talents and abilities in general. I still second guess myself with relentless questions of what am I doing, am I doing this ok, am I right to think this or to question that at work? Am I steering my life in the right direction and will I ever be able to keep a plant alive for more than two weeks?

I've always been mindful of time and the fact that it's a rare commodity. While it's good to realise this, it often sent me in a state of panic - that I hadn't done much, or anything at all, of what I wanted to do, whatever that was. I felt that everything had to have been done yesterday and while people said 'you'll figure it out eventually' I often thought 'what if I figured it out now, wouldn't that be so much better??' I was reassured by my friends and good old buzzfeed articles that I wasn't alone in experiencing the dreaded quarter life crisis. But sometimes, strength in numbers doesn't offer much comfort - that magnifying glass on your life is a little too focused on what you should be doing that there isn't room to see what you have done.

The thing about time though, is that it will pass regardless of whether it's spent planning or panicking. Often panic can cause you to stop, not sure what direction to go in, afraid of making a decision out of fear of it being the wrong one. So for my 25th year I'll choose to plan and to actively chase life, instead of letting things just happen with no real input. I'll put myself out there more, start writing more, traveling more (or as much as my bank balance will allow), taking care of myself and those around me more and keep on learning. I'll also learn to let go more. Make no mistake though - I'm under no illusion that life will go as planned 100% of the time because, as much as I'd like to, I can't control what's going to happen. So when things don't go exactly as planned, I'll learn to roll with it, adjust my plans and see what happens.

Every decade is a struggle. I remember struggling through my school years, trying to build a sense of identity and understanding of the world around me. And then you move through it and come out the other end with a closed chapter and an eagerness to start the next. Mistakes are made time and time again but lessons are learnt to keep you pushing forward, and that's all we an hope for from every birthday we are blessed with.

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