Well, twenty-five and one week, to be precise. Last Friday was my birthday, and I feel like I’m still recovering from the weekend of celebrating. Twenty-five is a nice number, isn’t it? I like how it feels in my mouth when I say it out loud, clean and round like a ripe piece of fruit. I like how it sounds. The five much lighter than its cumbersome predecessor, it practically skips through the air. I’m happy to be rid of the awkward four, so dull and slow, the kid in PE who drags his feet and always gets picked last for the team. Twenty-four is a limbo, an in-between, a not-quite-there-yet. It’s the invisible rock you trip on right before the finish line.
Or maybe that’s just what it was to me. I remember not wanting to turn twenty-four. It was the first time I felt decidedly averse to the idea of stepping into the next year of my being. I wasn’t ready; I hadn’t done enough. My life was at a stand still, a turning point but I couldn’t see what was around the next corner, a blank wall I couldn’t figure out how to decorate, a puzzle I couldn’t solve.
It was, in a word, lacking.
(Read my take on the 20-something life here.)
But twenty-five? This feels different. I most certainly don’t have it all figured out, don't really have a plan, but I like where I am right now. On Sunday night I stood outside a trendy restaurant with my parents, drunk and happy for the second day in a row, and said, I love my life. The words floated down the street and I was acutely aware of the fact that I had never uttered them before. Not that I haven’t been happy before now, not that I haven’t done and seen some amazing things, but I am only just learning what it means to be content.
And on my birthday last Friday I was exactly that. I had the day off work and allowed myself, guilt-free, to stay in bed until noon. The afternoon was a field trip to the Sutro Baths at the end of Golden Gate Park and the trail that runs along the coast. It was sunny and windy, which is as good as you can hope for on a summer day in San Francisco, and the ocean was moving. Dolphins swam idly past, maybe fifty feet or so from the rocky shore, and we watched them from up on a lookout, while I, once again, could not believe that this is where I live.
On our way home, we stopped at Whole Foods and this guy:
|Blog, meet Ian.|
picked up some things for a birthday dinner he’d been loosely planning. As has become the norm, I followed him around the store quietly, watching his mind work, watching him blink and stare intently at nothing while thinking thoughts about food that I’m sure were beyond me. You guys, he can cook. Like, really cook.
Saturday night was a party. My housemates and I bought some food and liquor, cleaned the apartment and dressed it up in fresh flowers and mason jars filled with tea lights, and then lo’ and behold, a whole bunch of people came over to get sloppy. They came in and I hopped up and down in my 6-inch wedges, feeling good to be surrounded by so much love. So much fancy and so much free. And if that's what it feels like to be twenty-five, I'll take it.
Oh, and now I'm on vacation in New York. So far? It's a good year.