Twenty-five seems so young to those who are in their 30s and 40s, and so old to those still in their teens. Perspectives on age have always fascinated me since they're situational or based on stigma or social norms.
"Well you're only 25, you have plenty of time ... relax."
"I mean ... he's 25 and still lives at home. Don't you think he's getting a little old for that?"
"You're turning 25, aren't you two going to settle down and get married yet?"
"Well of course it didn't work out, they were only 25 when they got married."
Everyone seems to have a different opinion of where you should be at a certain age. So many turn 30 and feel like they aren't where they wanted to be in their life, looking back at their 20s wondering if they made wrong choices or took the wrong job or wasted their time.
But why? To me, age is just a number.
Yeah, I know that sounds cliché and so many older than me will think that I won't say that when I turn 30. But I think we need to stop concentrating on age and where we expected ourselves to be at a certain age and start concentrating on what we want and going for it.
If you're not where you want to be, or doing what you want to do. Change it. Pursue a new path. Take a chance. Stop making excuses for why you can't or won't and step outside your comfort zone or you'll never find what you're looking for and what you think you're missing.
Don't be afraid to try and fail. I fail all the time, because I take risks. I make mistakes, more than I can even count, but I don't let those mistakes define who I am. I accept that I messed up, learn from it and try to be better. If I make the wrong decision, even the big ones like in my career, I don't beat myself up over it. I take a step back and try to figure out a way to fix it.
So why did I decide to do it before 25 and not before 30, or maybe make a longer list and do it before I die? I'm the one telling you to stop concentrating on where you are at a certain age, so it seems a bit hypocritical, right?
Well one, I could die tomorrow, and because I've never liked the idea of eventually. I like the idea of today.
Probably because of my complete lack of patience or my inability to be satisfied standing still, I've never been one to say "one day." Once I decide I want something, I want it right then. I didn't wait to one day start my own magazine. I did it. I didn't wait to one day get my master's degree. I did it. I didn't wait to one day publish a book. I did it. So I'm not waiting to one day complete a bucket list of things I've always wanted to do, I'm going to do it now.
I realize there are things in our lives that we want to do that we can't just do RIGHT NOW at the drop of the hat. Like retire, or travel around the world, or buy the dream house. But if these are things you want, you can start working toward them right now. Make the plan, start to save, ask yourself what you need to do to make it happen. It's never too late to be who you're meant to be.
So after consideration, I'm not going to post the list of what 25 things I'm going to try and accomplish by May 15, 2016, the day I turn 25. I will be doing them out of order, but I will list what number and blog about each of my experiences as I cross each one off. Even if I don't succeed, I will still post about my attempt. Some are silly things I've always wanted to do, and some are really personal things that I feel I need to do to better myself as a person. For each one I will hold nothing back -- as a writer, I've never been afraid to let people into my life and know all I am, including my flaws, in hopes of inspiring them. I let myself be vulnerable knowing that opens me up to criticism, but I've never let that stop me.
So step into my life for a year as I push boundaries and learn just how much I'm capable of doing.
*Editng Credit: Elizabeth Herrera Lauer, Copy editor at Pittsburgh Tribune-Review // @lizandstripes