It doesn’t feel as special as birthdays before this have, and I’m not sure why. Ever since I was a kid, it always seemed so exciting to turn another year older.
14 sounded so much older than 13.
18 sounded so much older than 17.
22 sounded so much older than 21.
The higher number, in the past, has felt like a refreshing new start – whatever the past year brought could be mentally let go, and I could start new with my shiny new age to prove it.
So far, 25 has felt anti-climatic. I spent the weekend moving into a new apartment. I moved boxes from one home, into a car, around the corner, into the parking garage, up the stairs, up the second set of stairs, into my new home. I ate a Starbucks breakfast sandwich alone in my car. I went to see Crazy Rich Asians with Micah. It’s felt underwhelming yet simultaneously hectic and stressful – which, now that I think about it, is largely what this past year has felt like for me.*
23 was awfully romantic – galavanting to Ireland, kissing strangers in a pub, dating multiple people (and finding some I actually took interest in, gasp!), feeling there was possibility around me, ready for the taking. I wanted things, and so I reached out and grabbed them, regardless of the consequences. Not always, mind you. But enough to keep myself hopeful.
Have I lost that spark? How did I even obtain that spark to begin with? And what blew it out? (Spark? Flame? Whatever.)
Good things happened this year. I finished knitting a pair of socks(!), went to see Hamilton with my family(!!), went to Taiwan with Stephen (!!!), started keeping active goals for myself. I’ve been consistently running the entire time, actually started blogging on a regular basis, forced myself into dedicated rhythms that have, for the most part, helped me engage more with my own life.
Maybe that’s what I find sad, though, as I reflect on my past year. I’ve had to force myself to participate, instead of feeling a natural inclination to make the most of my life. I don’t like that I’m prone to laziness – how can I reset the defaults of my personality? Return to factory conditions, but this time include a natural zest for life, desire to exceed expectations, competitive drive that will push me to reach just a bit further.
I’ve wasted so many nights playing a stupid coloring game on my phone – why do I gravitate to that and not the transient gleam of day?!
So at 25, I’m – fine. Said in that unconvincing way – the way we sound when someone asks us how we’re doing. I’m – happy. But also creatively numb, desperate to feel long lost feelings that can’t be forced, stuck between a desire to foster beauty and an inability to get off the couch.
I just moved into a new apartment – it’s beautiful, bigger than my last place, has an in unit washer/dryer, 2 parking spots, and allows pets. It’s golden! And I feel excited about it – there are so many different ways to organize, design, fill with love. This inanimate space that is everything and nothing all at once, because — I just stopped to stare into my phone for 10 minutes — because there’s nothing established yet, and everything to build.
Maybe that’s my hope for 25 – that I can somehow, however ambiguously, build a life that makes me eager, and not obligated, to fill with all the beauty.
*Note: Seeing both my parents and Micah was beautiful. I’m beyond lucky and entirely happy to have them in my life. These feelings of discontentment are unrelated to them – more reflective of my overall mental state this past year.