“WAYS TO GO”–On Turning 25

On turning 25 & 25 things I would do if time and money were not a constraint.

This Sunday, February 22, I turned 25!  Hooray!

Happy to be 25 in my beautiful, plastic tiara

Geeking out and happy to be 25 in my beautiful, plastic tiara

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.

I might be closer to 30, but I still make my morning mimosas with Andre because I'm still poor and cheap.

I might be closer to 30, but I still make my morning mimosas with Andre because I’m still poor and cheap.

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.

This is was a 25th birthday party can sometimes look like.  We're drinking wine instead of malt liquor like when we were teenagers, but crazy straws are still a hoot.

This is was a 25th birthday party can sometimes look like. We’re drinking wine instead of malt liquor like when we were teenagers, but crazy straws are still a hoot.

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

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One response to ““WAYS TO GO”–On Turning 25

  1. I don’t have 25 things I want to accomplish before I’m thirty mostly because that would give me 10 months to accomplish them. I’ve stopped making “by this time” goals aside from the largest one of “before I die.” I’ve always been hyper aware of my own mortality whether now looking down the barrel of turning thirty at the end of this year or looking back at when I was a child looking at a dead squirrel that my dad said was sleeping. I used to dig holes in the ground in hopes to tunnel to my best friend’s house and to all the places in the world I wanted to explore. I played elaborate games with my toys or outside with nothing but a stick. I wrote and drew out the stories I had played in order to keep a record of them. Even as a child I knew it was my only chance at immortality.

    My desires haven’t changed at my core. I want to travel and express myself. I’ve only traveled in the confines of watching films mostly because of financial restrictions. Every spare cent I’ve made my entire life has primarily gone to expressing myself through film making and garnering exposure for my writing etc. The ultimate goal is the same, get paid for what I love to do. With that I’ll be afforded a more realistic opportunity to travel. That may mean my wanderlust will never be satiated but I’d be more depressed if I traveled and my goals of becoming a filmmaker never came to fruition. The only way I’ll accept failure in my dream is if I know I did everything I could to accomplish it.

    I love your list and in theory mine was very similar.

    1, 3, 4, 12, 19, 24, 25 – Are practically word for word
    16, 17, 20, 21 – Are awesome and should be added to my list!
    6, 14, 15, 18, 22, 23 – Are the same as mine with slight differences

    If money wasn’t a factor, I’d be traveling all the time and making films with my friends and peers and those I respect. I’d be writing and acting and supporting/involving artists at every turn. If I only had one more year to live… I wouldn’t have the resources to make one last film (although I’d want to) so instead I’d sell everything I own and travel the world and hopefully go to each different place with a different loved one and I’d write at least one last novel while I did it. In theory. In reality if I had one year to live it would likely be due to some terrible illness that was eating away at my body and/or mind, in which case I’d probably accomplish very little other than watching movies and writing.

    Like

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