My birthday, that is. Tomorrow I'm turning the big 2-5, and for some reason this birthday feels very significant for me. It feels like a milestone, much more than any other birthday I can remember. No longer checking the 18-24 box on surveys, no longer being in my "early 20s," no longer embarrassed to tell people my age. Science says my brain is now fully developed. My car insurance company says I'm less of a risk on the road. But the magnitude of this birthday goes much deeper than all that.
I feel different.
Maybe it's because I've always looked at 25 as a marker, long before I had a child's birthday to count the years that pass. It was a goal up ahead -- a finish line of sorts. I wanted to have X, Y and Z done by the time I was 25, including finding the man I'd marry, achieving specific professional goals and planning when to have the first baby.
Yet if I would have told my 18-year-old self where I'd end up at 25 -- if I would have met the little boy who would soon change my world, caught a glimpse of my soon-to-be-husband and soon-to-be-son walking hand-in-hand a few feet up ahead -- then I would never have stressed about anything in my life. If I knew that everything in my life would lead to this point -- personally and professionally -- I wouldn't have had a worry. No "what ifs." No "if onlys." Only this. Twenty five.
And maybe it's in this retrospective realization that I learned the most valuable lesson of my life: to let go. For the plan-out-her-life girl -- equipped with notebooks full of lists and timelines -- to release her grip and finally exhale. To crumple up my specific 10-year outlines and find myself surrounded by a much deeper, a much wider, plan that I simply could never control. For me, I didn't enter adulthood with a college degree or even when I birthed my child. It was in having my life completely uprooted, ripped from my controlling grasp, and rerouted in a direction I didn't know existed. And now I see situations, I see people, differently. I see life differently. Planning and stressing and controlling were so much of who I was -- inextricably linked to my ambition and goals -- and now I feel like I was given a folded up note with a secret scrawled inside. Sometimes things are better out of your control.
I am different.
So tomorrow when I blow out the candles, I'll be having a very personal moment with myself. A moment of overwhelming appreciation for my new perspective and my unexpected life. To a 25 that I could never have imagined.
And to happily letting my life lead me through the next twenty five.
I hope you all have a wonderful weekend, despite Hurricane Irene's path. And an extra special Happy Weekend to my sister who is spending her first weekend in China, volunteering with orphans for the next two weeks. A 16-hour direct flight -- can you even imagine?
This week's posting was a little spotty with Noah transitioning into nursery school, but I'm happy to report he had his first full day at school today -- without a single tear. So stop by next week for much, much more!
Here are some of my Babble posts from the week:
- Smart products to help with potty training.
- 14 stroller accessories you don't know you need.
- I've since decided that this is not for me after all.
- Would you like to get one of these in the mail?
- One of my all-time favorite newborn baby gifts.
- I can see the appeal, but this isn't for me.