Dalawampu’t lima. Er sher wu. Di tsah goh. Viente cinco. Vingt-cinq. Twenty five
Hmm. I’ve written this in all the languages I know but it still feels strangely new to me.
My birthday, for the first time, was uneventful. In fact, I did nothing to commemorate the day. I don’t know why; I wasn’t depressed or anything. But I’d like to think that I’m at that stage where I am finally on the right track and happy with everything I am doing that there’s no need for one big explosion of affirmation. I think that joy is the theme of my life, and that solitude happens to accompany it at this point although hopefully not forever. To be 25 seems to have some sort of finality – dang it, you’d better have learned SOMETHING at this point to make all this turmoil worthwhile!
Ah, but yes! What good is a blog without the necessary reflective post that I will cringe at years from now? Here are twenty-five points to commemorate twenty-five years:
Five Things I Will Do For a Long Time, if Not Forever
1. Create. If I cannot relate to the real world, then I shall make my own! Long live the power of the Whee!
2. Do yoga and martial arts. I refuse to be a Botoxed weakling when I am 40.
3. Learn new things and teach them to others. Passing knowledge on is my way of determining whether I really understood it or not.
4. Write. When the silence is deafening and my head is close to exploding, typing my thoughts on screen eases the migraines.
5. Attempt to make people happy, then bounce away! Doesn’t it make you feel warm and fuzzy inside? Repeat.
Five Things I Will (Hopefully) Never Do Again
1. Do a Ph.D. I seriously think it stifles creativity. And I have neither the attention span nor the competitive urge for it.
2. Eat meat. I can’t eat anything that used to have beaks or boobs anymore, you guys. I can’t even look at rotisserie chickens without having the urge to puke.
3. Hold back when I really want to do something. I think everyone should have a Bucket List written down as early as possible, and go back to it as regularly as they can.
4. Be anyone’s doormat. Ha! That goes without saying.
5. Ghost write for anyone. Ever! (Yeah, that’s right! Everyone has to do their own speeches, love letters and articles from now on, yo. You are stomping on my dignity by taking my words without proper compensation! The world has enough drivel; let’s at least remove the anonymity and own up to your loggorhea!)
Five Things I Am Grateful For
1. Knowing what I am innately good at and what I really want to do, without peer and parental pressure, competition or nepotism. And knowing is half the battle!
2. Being healthy. Trust me, this yoga/taekwondo/healthy eating thing was waaaay out of my character three years ago.
3. Three years alone in New York City. They were painful and tumultuous (and next time I’m in a new city by myself again, remind me to make friends earlier) but I guess that was the point. I think everyone should break out of the mold eventually. I’m just happy it came earlier than later.
4. Making friends wherever I go. Because nomads need love, too!
5. My sarcasm. I think irony is something we can all grab onto when the chips are down, so we won’t ever take some things way too seriously.
Five Things I Regret
1. Not spending more time with interesting people I’ve met. There may be no goodbyes, but there are farewells to the type of person your friends are at this moment.
2. Making excuses. When someone asks you how far you want to go, you don’t give a number; you say “All the way!”
3. Learning these lessons only now. When you look at it, they seem a little ‘duh.’ Didn’t we learn all these in kindergarten?
4. Being resistant to change. Ah. I still am, sometimes.
5. Not going to trapeze school when I had the chance! *sob* I shall fly one day, you’ll see!
(At Least) Five Things I Will Do This Year
1. Climb ______.
2. Learn ______.
3. Earn my ______.
4. Attempt to ______.
5. Create ______.
These will, of course, be documented in the most fun way possible.
Hmm. Now that I think about it, one reason I didn’t feel like partying was that I felt this irrepressible sense of exhaustion. The racetrack I placed myself on turned into a roller coaster that seemed to go on forever, and now I am dizzy and badly need to hurl. Too many things keep happening that I feel glad to have written about them so I have some sort of proof. (These e-mails aren’t some random idea, by the way. Before The Sunshine Posts, there were 100 Chronicles of Paranoia e-mailed to 200 of my friends. My writing mentor wants me to turn those into a book, but yikes, I don’t think so. There are way more embarrassing and incriminating things there than I want strangers to know. And who on earth wants to pay for some chick’s neurotic drivel? I might turn it into a blog for posterity’s sake.)
But I digress. Now that I think about it, adventurousness and productive creativity are just my Freudian way of making sure I never have to be embarrassed about revealing my age. I never want to have to hide my age (or look my age for that matter, hence the facials), and feel like being asked that question is a violation of my person because I feel I hadn’t done enough. I think it’s why I want to experience everything as early as possible, even just once – the twenties are, after all, the years where we laugh, cry, love, and hate with the greatest force we have ever known.
When I was 21, I dreaded uncertainty, but now I think it is a blessing and a challenge to have to carve out my life with my own hands. If there’s one scenario I am glad not to be in right now, it’s to be in the corporate/medical/law/academic world, surrounded by the same type of people I grew up with, engaged to someone in one of my circles. I’m sure it’s a nice pleasant story with more or less a happy ending, but I’d rather see the world and know how beautiful, destructive, joyful, painful and limitless life can actually be before settling down on some preordained path. That’s the true measure of a life well-lived, I think – to extract from it happiness with substance, instead of happiness that’s too thin and trite, even Hallmark doesn’t want to make a greeting card about it. And as the great and renowned tour guide and performer Carlos C------ reassured me just a few weeks ago (and to everyone in their twenties, I propose we turn this into our battle cry):
“It’s all drama until you hit 30.”
Lots of love,