Monday, October 31, 2011

My quarter century year

My quarter century year has officially drawn to a close.

In my 25th year, I was determined to make up for lost time, and set new goals. I made friends. I worked, lots. I partied. I became a so-so athlete, and ran another half-marathon. I travelled solo and with friends, hitting familiar places such as Montreal and Nova Scotia and new destinations: Calgary, New York, Las Vegas. There were many, many firsts. I walked through Central Park holding a blue balloon, ate deep fried pickles in Queens, played the slots in Vegas and mocked the public art in Calgary. Closer to home, I ate a donut burger, rode a jet boat and finally took a chance on the Hippo tour bus. I dressed up as Supergirl in the middle of the summer, and managed to stop blushing, eventually, and even enjoy the spectacle as I wandered around in public in a blonde wig and no pants. I got my nose pierced because it was raining and the shop was across the street.  I said goodbye to a beloved grandmother. I reconnected with a high school friend, and mourned the loss of a childhood companion.

Through all this, I think I did grow up, a little. While still afraid to slow down -- a rolling stone gathers no moss, right? -- I've learned when I need to call it a night for my health and sanity. I've even been known to come home by midnight when it's not a school night, once or twice. And say no when I'm overwhelmed and exhausted.

That said, my 25th year also taught me just how much of a work in progress I still am. I still have trouble trusting people, especially men. Sometimes, I make bad calls and let myself get swept up and away. When stressed, or sad, I can be reckless. I buy too many shoes. I don't call home as often as I should. I'm going to work on these things.

My love life continues to somehow be both far too busy and neglected at the same time. I scare easily, and am much more comfortable with suitors I know won't fall for me or ask for a future. But while it's taken a year and a half, I'm starting to see value in commitment. Even if it is terrifying.

I'm no longer content with planning just a week or two, even a month or two, in advance - I want to envision where I'm going to be in five years. It's easier to deal with the bumps in the road when you know what you're working towards -- and while I don't know 100 per cent what that end goal is, I've learned that happiness takes effort, and is well worth pursuing.

So, while the quarter century year may be over, the crisis is still far from resolved. I don't know where 26 will take me - but I have faith it will be an adventure.

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