I turn 25 years old today. I kept kidding myself that it wasn’t a big deal, until yesterday. I realized that I’m one-third of the way through my life. I have two-thirds to go, and I’m pretty sure those are going to be more bitchin’ than the last 25 years. At 25 I’ve realized that I still have a lot to learn. I have a lot of lessons to take in and a lot of heartbreak to go through.
I still have both my parents. My mother is my rock, and I’m not looking forward to the day that she’s gone. Yet, that’s life. It’s a current. It’s an ever-shifting stream of people, moments, and love. It’s change. As a historian it’s easy to see change coldly, as collection of bound pages of black text on aging paper. However, we’re living history. We are the history. We’re flesh and bone on a tapestry of time and space. I’m learning to live my life like it matters. We all matter. We’re all collectively writing this narrative with our actions.
So far I’ve lived through two invasions of Iraq, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the expansion of the Internet, the Lewinsky scandal (which taught me way more than any textbook could have about human sexuality), the debacle of the 2000 election, and 9/11. Worse I’ve lived through the Spice Girls, N’sync, and the Backstreet Boys. I voted for a black president, and he won. Regardless of your politics, that’s a great achievement. I’ve lived through life and death. Everything is changing around us constantly. Nothing is ever static, and nothing should be taken for granted.
I’m, obviously, a very emotional person, but at 25 I’m learning that I can’t let other people dictate those emotions. I’m learning that my two best friends are the most amazing people I’ve met. They’re kind, strong, intelligent, handsome young men that I admire and deserve every bit of love and success they earn and receive. I’ve developed Wanderlust, and at this point, can’t wait to graduate and leave Austin. I love this city, but I think I’ve overstayed my welcome. Master Dago will be on the lam. I’ve learned that I’m passionate, strong, stubborn, and incredibly curious. However, this usually means I’m easily led along and get into situations that I feel are fine but are truly irreparable. This is what I’m working on. Not skepticism, but realizing others’ realities. I’m learning that I’m capable of love again. I thought I’d lost that.
Birthdays are an occasion to celebrate, I suppose. The wheels of industry and greed haven’t swept me under the rug of American society, yet. That’s a cause to celebrate. I have wonderful, caring friends that, as I’m quickly learning, are protective as hell. That’s a cause to celebrate. I’m finally loving who I am. In the past, I haven’t. That’s definitely a cause to celebrate.
I try to take time during my birthdays to reflect. As your tweets, Facebook posts, and texts pour in, I’m overwhelmed by how many people are taking the time out of their day to say something. It’s a small gesture, but it does mean something to me. I’m all about small gestures. Again, another thing I learned at 25.
This is a bit of a rant, but I just want everyone to know that I appreciate you all. You’re all my friends for a good reason. Tell yourself that you’re great every day, and let’s get through these last two-thirds together.