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The Last Post of 24

April 27, 2011
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Tomorrow I turn 25.  25.  When did that happen?  It seems like just yesterday I was celebrating 24, relishing the fact that I was turning the age I would be when I married B.  Today’s the last day of that year.  Strange.

Last night, on the way home from an arts and music award ceremony at the high school, B and I started reminiscing about my birthday ten years ago (ten years ago?!).  It was the first birthday party I had ever invited B to, and he remembers the exact card he gave me.  He even quoted it in the car.  It had something to do with the great baby-making factory in the sky declaring that on the day I was born, they all declared that they had finally made a perfect one and should celebrate.  At the time, I probably blushed thinking about how B thought I was perfect (he must think differently now).  Now, I can’t believe that he remembers the card and that it really has been ten years.  I was 15 when I started dating B, so this is the year of our decade.

I’ve also been thinking about what this year has meant.  There was a lot of stress – good and bad – and a lot of changes.  I went from teaching eighth grade to high school, from coaching field hockey to coaching field hockey and drama, from being single to married, and from a Europe-trip virgin to one who has experienced two countries.  I think I’m more confident in myself, but I have a ton to learn and reexamine.  My students prove that to me every single day.  Why haven’t I learned some of these lessons before now?  I’m going to be a quarter of a century.  Shouldn’t my learning curve be faster?  Maybe not.  Maybe it’s all about timing.

Twenty-five should be the year that I make time for what is most important.  I read somewhere recently that people tend to be their happiest during their twenty-fifth year.  Why?  Who knows.  Maybe you’re just happy you made it out of college and adolescence alive.  Maybe it’s because you are hitting your stride with independence and courage; you have a better idea of who you are and who you want to be.  Whatever it is, I want to make that true.  Well, I want to make it true to a point.  I want to be just as happy the rest of my years too.  This year, I want to focus on being a better version of myself.  I want to have more patience with my students, more quality time with B, more traveling, and more smiles.  I want to let the stressful situations that are bound to pop up roll off from me and teach me important lessons.  I want to be open to learning.

I’m not worried about the number, even though 25 does sound big.  It’s just a number.  I am one of the lasts of my friends to turn 25, and they are rocking it.  Actually, 25 sounds kind of hot, a sexy, confident number, like you know what you are doing.  That’s not so bad.

So happy early birthday to Jay Leno, Harper Lee, Jessica Alba, Penelope Cruz, and our fifth president, James Monroe.  We’ll all grow older and better together!

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