25 Things I Learned at 25

When I turned 23, I wrote about 23 important things I had learned in my 23 years of life. At 25, I wrote about all the cool things that had happened the year before. (The year I turned 24 was my golden birthday and the last night I would be living with 2 of my most cherished roommates. Needless to say, the night’s activities did not exactly leave me a cheerful, chipper birthday blogger in the morning).

I do feel compelled to review my previous year at each birthday. I can sometimes sense that I am getting the slightest bit wiser with age, and it is good to document those fleeting moments in the midst of some of the ridiculous things that 20somethings do.

This past year felt very much like a turning point for me; a year in which I learned a lot about myself. So I made a list: 25 Things I Learned at 25

  1. I can do anything, but I don’t have to do everything.
  2. Three days in the wilderness is a really good way to get to know someone.
  3. Training for a marathon is a really good way to get to know yourself.
  4. When the ‘big picture’ feels chaotic, asserting control over every detail is not progress. It’s crazymaking.
  5. Idle time really is the devil’s playground.
  6. Yoga. My mind and body need some yoga once in a while.
  7. Taking on more responsibility is not foolish, it’s growth.
  8. I have once been to a part of this world where the need was great, but the people wanted for almost nothing. When I cloak my desire in phrases of “I need this” or “I have to have that” I am not being mindful of the great need that does exist. I can do with (and be happy with) less.
  9. Blue nail polish stains your nails.
  10. Love will leave you feeling like silly things are worth it– like ending a vacation a day early to be sure to make it back for a trombone choir concert.
  11. You can always reconnect with an old friend, as long as both parties want it.
  12. Timberwolves games are actually really, really fun.
  13. If you break a tooth, someone can fix it. Preferably, that someone is a dentist.
  14. Iowa has good people in it.
  15. Facing your fears might not get rid of them, but it will be exhilirating anyway.
  16. If my cat is any proxy for what having kids will be like, I should sell all my breakables now.
  17. Bicycling is good for many things: thighs, heart, mind, friendship.
  18. Jealousy happens sometimes but should not overcome gratefulness.
  19. The One Touch To Buy Book button on the Kindle is cruel.
  20. Forget vacuum attachments– you can actually vacuum the couch just like the floor! Efficiency!
  21. The discussion that results from “I believe this, but I am interested in what you think” is far better than the discussion that results from “I believe this, and I heard that you don’t, and I think you are wrong.”
  22. Social media can be a great tool, but it is also an outlet for other people to invite you into their emotional rollercoaster. Do not get on the ride. Delete them if their posts are whiny, affirmation-seeking, dramatic. Twitter is not junior high.
  23. Pictures of cute babies, clean and smiling with fat legs, will put your ovaries into hyperdrive. This can be dramatically controlled by finding a real baby and discovering that they are loud, smelly, and a bit unclear in their communication. Bonus points if it vomits as a result of a sneeze.
  24. Swimming with the manatees in Florida is one of the times I felt the most spiritual and like something very divine indeed was going on in this world, that I could be so blessed to interact with a species so grand and yet so tolerant.
  25. Life is not unlike running– the most fun is not at the finish line, it’s on the way there. Eventually things will fall into place- as they always have and always will. In the meantime, enjoy the journey.

So far, I have been 26 for 3 days. It’s going well. So, thanks to 25 for a lot of ‘growth experiences’ (that’s my boss’ favorite phrase that really means “things that make you incredibly scared and uncomfortable”). I think last year has provided me with another level of solid foundation from which to keep moving. Onward!

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