05 August 2005

25 Years--what a ride

I've only posted once in over a month, and I feel terrible about this. In the past month, a lot has happened. I'm in much better shape now than ever in my entire life, and can actaully wear size 34 pants, although I don't look much different on the outside. Half of my lineage is Polish and Russian, a race apparently destined for big everything from the waist down (get your mind out of the gutter), so I feel that dropping a pant size symbolizes overcoming some massive genetic hurdle. In less superficial matters, I've decided to continue my academic pursuits and try my hand at an MBA after law school. On August 22nd, I will be taking the GMAT and, hopefully, proving once again that my verbal skills are vastly superior to any quantitative abilities I have. This will be the case no matter how much I study, so I might as well resign myself to that fact. The last thirty days have also seen me have and get over a major crush. I'm not really sure how to describe why that mattered, but the experience is probably universal enough that I need not explain just how important these things seem in the moment. Despite seeming totally retarded in hindsight...

And, I'm now 25. I've more or less felt that I was 25 for a couple months now--I'm not sure why--so reaching the actual milestone didn't have the usual zing. But it still means something, doesn't it? Every year, I resolve not to become introspective about the whole birthday weirdness. That's impossible, though. The professor for whom I do research (and basically whatever else is necessary and reasonable for seven bucks an hour) told me that she was in Italy with her husband, at some lovely outdoor cafe, when suddenly he said "It's your birthday!" She actually had forgot her own birthday, but as it turns out could not have asked for a more perfect one. This sort of thing will never happen to me. August 3rd is so completely ingrained into my psyche that the only way I'd forget it's significance is if I suffered some blunt head trauma. Repeatedly.

As birthdays go, this is one of the best ones I've had. My early 20s, which I now can conveniently group into a single period, were always marked by a filling of unattainment. I'm not sure if that's even a word, but it should be. I always had certain ideas of where I would be at certain ages, and was never anywhere close to my goals. Well, I won't lie, I had a ton of goals for my 25th birthday. Ask any of my friends or family, and they'll tell you that I always say "if you're going to be anything great, you have to do it by the time you're 25." A perhaps insane standard to live up to, but to me it seems very reasonable. So the last five years, I've had this big 2 5 looming in the distance, weighing me down with a lot of self-doubt and internal pressure.

But now it's finally arrived, and you know what? This year, for the first time since I started to think in depth about what I wanted to do with my life, I didn't wish that I could go back and change anything. Maybe it was a simple cases of the anticipation being the worst part, but actually knowing that I'm 25 has somehow made me feel freer than I have in years. Yes, some things have happened that made my life a lot harder, and other things that I desperately wanted never materialized. But the place I'm at today, for better or worse, is a place I basically like. I won't lie and say I love it, nor will I pretend I hate it.

I think the big problem before was that I imagined this ultimate version of me, the me that would have been if everything had worked out perfectly. I just assumed that if I put in enough effort, I could get closer to all those things I imagined for myself--as if I had taken a detour and was trying desperately to get back on the main road. But it just isn't like that. Whatever those first 25 years could have been....well, they're over now. The next 25, though, are just beginning. All I can simply hope is that I learned well from my mistakes and learned even better from what I did right.


At 1:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you think you're funny??? you sure are'nt you dick. why do you waste valuable space on the net


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