I’ve been 25 for a month, and it’s already been a whirlwind of a year. But then again, so was 24. Here’s looking back at the last year…
24 was big.
24 was hastily, thoughtfully, drunkenly, soberly questioning every aspect of my life. It was finally fitting into the mold I’d spent years creating, just to want a new one. It was deciding what I want. It was deciding I don’t know what I want.
24 was learning how lonely it is being the linchpin when the wheel is suddenly missing. It watching childhood best friends fall in love, move away, and follow dreams. It was seeing old friends in a new light, letting the memories of our childhoods fade into the background. It was accepting not all friendships will survive. And cherishing the ones that do.
24 was walking hand-in-hand under city lights one night, and jumping into someone else’s arms under a Carolina starlit sky the next. It was hugs that needed to happen so badly they left behind a sense of emptiness. It was countless hellos, and a few too many goodbyes. It was polaroid pictures scattered on a table filled with drinks. It was laughing to the point of no control.
24 was sitting cross-legged on the floor of a boat, watching fireworks. It was not knowing if I was 4 or 24, my feet in the sand. It was peeling skin, and the satisfaction of knowing the sunburn was worth the memories. It was watching beloved bars turn into clichés. It was running into old faces and hoping to not be a cliché.
24 was the soundtrack of southern summer days fitting autumn city nights perfectly. It was falling asleep to beautiful sentences, and turning pages until I found myself dreaming of other worlds. 24 was wearing the same strappy, wedge heels through the city until the city finally won. It was buying another pair to get the last word next year. It was housewarming parties that lasted six hours longer than planned. It was dancing recklessly at concerts in a basement, while everyone pretended to see the open sky.
24 was Wednesday night family dinners — people talking over people, too many voices and plates. It was that feeling of love, luck, and gratitude that only happens with family, even makeshift ones.
24 was finding my voice, and taking on new challenges. It was seeing myself as an adult without running away. It was moving 40 boxes to a new part of town. It was claiming 1,000 square feet of NYC for my own without pretending. At 24, I settled under the NYC skyline — no longer feeling an imposter, but no longer feeling the same immense gratitude either. It was finding comfort.
Here’s to everything 25 is going to be.