“I am going to be married before I turn 25!” I remember exclaiming to a classmate of mine in primary school.
By the time I turned 18, I remembered having little fear about transitioning to adulthood. I thought that I was pretty confident about who I was and what I had to offer to any university or organization or anyone. I had average academic qualifications which I thought would be compensated by the fact that I was heavily involved in extra-curricular activities.
When I turned 22 I freaked out at the thought that I was about closing in on turning 25 and could not bear the thought of being married and settling down at that early an age. I mean, those sort of situations belong to my grandparents’ era and was definitely not part of mine.
In contrast, the years leading up to turning 25 has really been a roller coaster ride. There are experiences that I had never thought would happen to me, and choices that I have made that would, at times, hurt. And this is not including the choices that others have made and the situations I have been thrown into where I am still trying to breathe. I don’t remember being told that turning 25 would be this hard! I had thought that I would be elated at the new found freedom and prepared to take on life’s challenges.
I am not the person I had thought I would evolve into. And to show kindness and gentleness towards the person I am today can be a constant struggle, especially since I am not living up to my expectations. I have come to realise that I have been so inwardly harsh and unwilling to accept part of who I am today is a result of my doing. I mean, do my choices make me, or do I make the choices?
There are, however, a few things I am sure of, at my 25th year mark:
- God is greater than the most highs and the deepest lows;
- I love my family and am (too) obsessed with them – their opinion matters but is not the ultimate;
- Friends are chosen family members – and I will always do what I can to keep them, even when they blatantly want to leave (so are they still my friends?);
- I love traveling solo but am also opened to traveling with people with similar interests (or are accommodating to my interests);
- I will always sit on the right side of the bus (the left side makes me uncomfortable);
- I overthink (a lot);
- I love buying books (even if I don’t end up reading them);
- I binge;
- I romanticise things (thanks Disney);
- I am afraid of heights but I would gladly do roller coasters;
- I am never comfortable in the water;
- I am willing to see the goodness in people but react drastically when I experience the opposite (see point 9);
- I express my deep affection for people in a way that I would like to experience, even if it inconveniences me or they won’t appreciate so (treat others the way you’d treat yourself hey?);
- I love listening to hearty laughters;
- I am (too) sentimental (and tend to live in the past);
- I love doing anything sporty but can at times be lazy as fuck;
- I love the smell of cooked rice;
- I love Japanese and Italian cuisines;
- I hate the smell of rain (and the humidity that follows it);
- Cooking I am willing but baking not so much;
- Hosting I enjoy but the stress prior to the event is what I actually thrive on;
- I indulge in spontaneity but am uncomfortable with impulsive purchases (are these characteristics even similar?); and,
- I adore inspirational, meaningful movies and hate ambiguous endings (I do not deal well with lack of closure);
- Managing time isn’t my forte; and,
- I will always love celebrating my birthday, even if I dislike the part where people sing to me the birthday song.
So while I drag my feet to the quarter century mark, I hope that in the midst of finding my footing in this life, I will remember to stop to smell the roses.