On turning 25 & 25 things I would do if time and money were not a constraint.
This Sunday, February 22, I turned 25! Hooray!
I know a lot of people who shuddered at the thought of turning of 25. Many people I’ve spoken with look at that number with great terror and anxiety. They shake their heads, roll their eyes and groan, “I’m a quarter century old!” or more often, “I’m now closer to 30 than 20 and that depresses me.”
I don’t get it! Turning 25 is by no means an indication that you are getting old. Older, yes, but not “old.” You’re still in your twenties for cryin’ out loud! Furthermore, 30 years old is still very young. Where did we get the idea that at 30, we expire? It’s just a different decade and a different stage in life.
And, at the tender age of 25, you can still look back and use the excuse, “Oh, I’m in my twenties!” For example, “Oh, I’m in my twenties, and that’s why I spent the whole weekend partying with my friends and eating only mozzarella sticks and Skittles.” Everyone your age is still terrified of the future and overwhelmed because they haven’t got it all “figured out.” When you find yourself frantically running around, darting in every direction trying to grab onto something that might represent happiness or fulfillment or a decent paycheck, you can still say to yourself yeah, this is normal because I’m in my twenties.
Calm down everyone! There’s enough to worry about without having to wonder if we’ve wasted our lives or passed our peaks at the 25 years of age. I mean, geez, it’s not a death sentence.
What’s so bad about getting older anyway? Yeah, some of us may feel like we’re running out of time and we have to quickly figure out all this “life stuff.” But, that’s just not true. I have this funny feeling that we’re going to be trying to figure out “life stuff” for the rest of our lives, even if we’re lucky enough to live to be old and gray. There is no shame in getting older, and it’s one of my biggest pet peeves when people act like getting older than 21 is basically equivalent to being on a deathbed. Getting older is wonderful and a lot of people don’t get the opportunity.
The idea that I’m closer to 30 than I am to 20 is a fact that I find comforting. I remember myself very well around the age of 20. I was a sophomore/junior in college living in a shared dorm room, soon followed by living a one bedroom apartment that would become a shrine to my depression. I was more immature. I was confused and unfocused with no sense of direction both in my personal life or in a future professional life. I was the most depressed, most miserable, and loneliest I have ever been in my entire life. So, as far as I’m concerned, I am glad to be further and further away from 20-years-old. I am happy to know and to feel like that part of my life is behind me.
Don’t get me wrong, there were wonderful things about being that age. But I’m ready to move forward. I’m ready to relish the rest of my twenties. Hopefully in a couple of years, I will be able to enter my thirties with feelings of confidence and a sense of accomplishment. Or at least, a sense that accomplishments are on the horizon.
To commemorate turning 25, I made a list of 25 things I would love to do before the age of 30. Some of them are realistic goals, and some I only imagine doing if time and money weren’t a factor. I love periodically erasing all anxieties about time and money by pondering what I would do if these things weren’t a factor. It helps me realize what true desires are. It helps me be honest with myself about what makes me happy and what might make me happy in the future.
What are 25 things you would do if time and money weren’t a factor? What’s really preventing you from trying to do them? What if you were going to die in a year…would you try and do them if that were the case? Well, then, seriously….why not just try? Those are the questions I constantly ask myself. Gotta keep myself in check! Make sure I don’t realize my biggest fear (dying full of regret that I wasted my time and my life).
1. Travel across the country via car, train, or walking.
2. Start a band
3. Make enough money to invest in a friend’s idea/innovation
4. Quit my job
5. Ride in a limo
6. Make a documentary – short or feature
7. Follow a favorite band on a tour
8. Go to the Grand Ole Opry
9. Living Wyoming for a little while
10. Live in the Hudson Valley again
11. Go back to New Orleans
12. Drink a really expensive wine
13. Dye my hair lavender
14. Work in or start a record store that is also a venue
15. Renovate a house
16. Re-learn using a darkroom
17. Build a darkroom
18. Pay off my brother’s student loans
19. Collect old, antique, beautiful books
20. Visit dive bars in every state
21. Go to Australia and travel across the whole thing
22. Get a new stereo for my car
23. Keep my car alive
24. Continue to write more and learn to get paid for it
25. Find a way to make money & be relatively happy at the same time