I Woke Up 25

Yesterday morning I woke up 25.

Amid the shit-storm that has rained down on me in the past week, I am not surprised that upon waking I managed to get half way through the day without realizing that it was my birthday. The realization finally hit as I wrote the date next to my signature on hospital admission papers for my younger sister. It’s been that sort of week.

I am not going to delve into the laundry-list of things that have gone awry in the past few days, because today, the day after I woke up 25, I am in a stellar mood. Today I finally get the keys to my new apartment. Today I get to move in. Today my sister gets out of the hospital. Today I meet with some of my new colleagues in preparation for school next month. Today I’m 25 and 1 day.

I always hated it when I was a kid and on your birthday it was funny to ask someone if they felt different – as if the mere change of a date could make you feel a year more mature. But lately I do feel different. I feel older and more prepared for life as a whole. I have noted with amazement when my emotional reactions to things around me have been less irrational and more measured. I have impressed myself with my own ability to step back and breathe in situations that would have sent me reeling not so long ago.

I’m not blowing my own horn, here. I’m just observing, and even though turning 25 scares me on a multitude of levels, I like what I’m seeing.

The biggest thing for me yesterday was this:

As I was sitting in an ER bay watching my sister struggling to breathe and allowing my sleeping mind to flush down the toilet of despair, I thought to myself “I can’t take any more of this.”

I wasn’t even allowed to finish that thought before another came crashing down on top of it, leaving no room for doubt and even less for self pity: “Actually, I can take a lot more of this. (I just don’t want to.)”

Admittedly my mind works in mysterious ways, and it somehow finds the most awful circumstances to turn into something self-motivational. Why were these thoughts such a big deal to me? Because they’re true. And because without the miles under my feet and the years of experiences under my belt, I wouldn’t have seen or  understood them at all.

So I guess the reason I’m happy today, despite all, is that even though I’m young, a baby in the grand scheme of things, I’ve finally gotten proof that I’m growing up. Not so much as to take the fun out of things, but enough to know that I can keep on keeping on. And that’s what I’m setting out to do this morning.

25 and 1 day feels pretty nice.

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