“The grass isn’t always greener on the other side,” and other important life lessons I’ve learned in my 26 years of life.

I mean serious business. I know things. Photo taken by my photographer mother-in-law Saturday, July 28.

Yesterday was my 26th birthday. I didn’t spend the day lounging around the house and I didn’t spend the night partying it up (like I did on my birthday 5 years ago). Life has changed so much and brought me so many things I didn’t expect. For example, I didn’t expect to feel so damn old turning 26, but lookit that, I do!

Some of these might be cliches but other stuff is serious and important and I’ve actually learned some things SO LISTEN UP BECAUSE I MAY NOT KNOW IT ALL BUT I KNOW SOME STUFF.

  1. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. In fact, sometimes your grass is the greenest grass in the whole county, but it takes jumping the fence to understand that other peoples’ grass sometimes just SUCKS and then you have to jump the fence AGAIN to get back to your green grass. See also: Hindsight is always 20/20.
  2. There is no one right way to do anything. There are always multiple ways to accomplish something, and nobody will ever be able to tell you which way is the right way for you. So put on your big girl panties and make the decision for yourself.
  3. Popularity doesn’t matter. I don’t even need to expand on this. It just doesn’t. Accept that and move on.
  4. It’s more important to be happy than it is to be right. This one applies mainly in relationships (but has merit elsewhere), and has been particularly difficult for me to swallow, but after multiple episodes of severe unhappiness, I’ve recently decided that OKAY FINE I’ll just nod and smile and recite IN THE BACK OF MY MIND ONLY AND NOT OUT LOUD, “I’m right, you’re wrong, neener neener.” Sometimes. (But sometimes is better than never, no way, no how, nuh-uh.)
  5. Ohmygod, stop trying to be perfect. Aside from the fact that PERFECT DOESN’T EXIST, it’s also exhausting and we have such little time here anyway, why waste it on something that is actually unattainable?

I’m sure I could come up with 5… 10… thirty bajillion… more. But jesuschrist I’m tired.

There. I said it.

There’s been something at the tip of my tongue for a few months now.

… something I’ve been struggling with, trying to come to terms with.

… something that is difficult to say.

But sometimes, those are the things you just have to SAY, right? Just man up, and say it already.

I’m turning 25 this year.

There. I said it.

I know, right? JESUS CHRIST KACI, bfd.

But I’m serious! Usually, every February 1, I throw myself a little half-birthday party. (Okay, not really, but at least there’s a party in my head. Get off me.) This year? Notsomuch. Because, I reasoned with myself, if I celebrate my half birthday, that means my actual birthday is that much closer.

And y’all, I do not want to turn 25. I’m perfectly content staying 24 forever. It’s a good age! At 24, it’s acceptable to be single. Or in a relationship. Or engaged. Or married. (The possibilities are endless!)

It’s also okay to, at 24, be and/or get pregnant, and/or have a child/children. Or not! It’s okay to party until 5 a.m., or go to bed at 8 p.m. (though one may or may not lead to more severe judgement than the other).

The thing is, 24 is kind of the perfect age.

25? 25 is a quarter of a fucking century.


Okay, it just hit me that I KNOW there are people older than 25 reading this. Please note: I DO NOT MEAN THAT YOU ARE OLD. In fact, quite the opposite. And yeah, I know I’m not making a lot of sense. (Don’t act so surprised.)

Here’s the thing: I’m the baby of my family. I mean, the b-a-b-y. Think of everything you would think the baby of a family would be… and you’ve pretty much got me. I’m not a spoiled little bitch – I know the value of a dollar, my mommy told me “no” plenty while I was growing up… but I AM (was?) spoiled. And bratty. And definitely an annoying little sister, and I kind of tend to think the world revolves around me (hey, I’m a Leo AND I have a blog… again, don’t act so surprised). I like to get what I want, when I want it, and yes, I actually DO want your full and undivided attention. Unless you’re being mean, then go away.

I just kind of never thought I’d actually make it to 25, I guess. When I turn 25, ownership of the house left to me by my grandmother (RIP grandma, I freakin’ love you and miss you!) is transferred into my name and out of the family trust. I’ve known that would happen since my age was still in the single digits. So yeah, 25 has always been an age that was kind of out there, but not really attainable.

But this year, I turn 25.

And I’m kind of freaking out.

(Sorry.)

Photo credit

24.

Part of me feels like my 23rd year of life flew by. Where did the fall go? Wasn’t Christmas just last week? What happened to spring? This summer is almost over?

But then I realize I can’t even remember what I did for my 23rd birthday. And that my life has changed drastically since I celebrated my last birthday.

A year ago, I was working at a job that made me miserable, living in a home that didn’t feel like home. I spent most of my free time alone because my only time off from work was odd hours, and I didn’t have many friends here. I missed holidays with family because of work and I was underappreciated and underpaid.

All of that’s changed. We’re homeowners. I love my job and my coworkers with a passion I didn’t know was possible to have for a job. And that job encourages time with family – no more missing Thanksgivings, no more worrying I won’t have time to see all our families for Christmas. I have friends now who are accessible in a physical sense, rather than just via the internet or phone.

I turn 24 tomorrow.

Bring it on.

{photos via here and here}

From circa 2004

We bought a new filing cabinet. Like, the fancy metal kind with a LOCK! and multiple drawers and zomg, I get to organize! (I previously had ONE dinky little drawer for all my important documents and, well, that just wasn’t enough.)

And so I had to remove my old “set of drawers” – you know, those cheap plastic things we all get while we’re in college. Only I still had mine. Since 2004! And, well, there was a lot more from ’04 in there. Like this following bit of writing from what I think was an English class, but who knows since it’s not labeled.

If I weren’t a student, I’d travel the globe, discovering and unraveling the world’s mysteries. Or maybe I’d be a dolphin trainer at Sea World, swimming with Flipper and his friends. I could be a master chef, and I’d create and cook up the delectable fantasies of my customers. I’d be a taste tester and I’d test all the tastes of fairy tale feasts. I’d be a tour guide on the mountain or beach, and I’d hike and explore all the beauty nature has to offer. I’d be a dancer, dancing my dance the way a dancer would do. If I weren’t a student, I’d be the queen of my world – I would rule and preside over my heartaches and heartbreaks. I’d be an office CEO and I’d sit and get fat and boss around the next CEO. I could be a champion golfer, swinging my worries and life away with each swing of my club. And when the time comes that I’m no longer a student, I could be a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover, a mother – or a traveler, master chef or dancer – and I’d smile and laugh and cry and endure and live my life a day at a time.

I could learn a lot from my 18-year-old self.

When I first found all these papers – notes and essays and exams and who knows what else – I was like, well, to the shredder we go! And then I started looking. And remembering. And DAMN! I was a smart girl.

I mean, not to toot my own horn or anything… but yeah. I thought. And I examined and reasoned. And I wrote. God, did I write.

Also, I hated map tests. And blue books.