Thoughts on Turning 25

25 Faces

Today I turn 25 and I feel as if I’ve been writing and rewriting this post for about 25 years. It seems odd to me that we put so much impact on one birthday when it’s really not that different from 24 or 23. I’m another year older with a few more life experiences under my belt, but now I get the added benefit of my car insurance rates going down (which reminds me, I need to call and get that checked!).

But in all honesty, I’ve spent about the past month struggling to put down on paper (or in this case, cyberspace) what it means to turn 25. Whenever I pull up Google and start to type “Thoughts on turning 25”, “25th birthday blog”, “celebrating 25”, etc., I almost hesitate to hit enter, scared of the results I’ll see. Not because they will be inappropriate, but because I am worried that I’d be continually comparing my ideas on a 25th blog post to someone else’s, and that inevitably, I would find fault with my idea and be jealous that someone else could come up with something so amazing for their 25th.

I came with up with the idea to do the 25 Faces project through talking to a few friends. It just sort of stuck, and so the work to interview 25 inspirational women and share their stories began. Though we’re just over halfway through the interviews, I’ve received a few requests to share a story of my own. What better way, than on my birthday?

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Through this interview series, I’ve had the opportunity to learn more about my friends and the amazing women I’ve surrounded myself with than ever before. Even though I’ve been close to some of these women for a long time and known that these events and experiences had happened to them, I learned something new from each of them as I asked them questions about their experiences. The common theme from all of the interviewees? Each woman has an innate strength and confidence in herself. These women continually teach me to be true to myself, to not conform to what society wants and to fight the fight to be a better, stronger woman.

And that’s when I realized exactly what it was that I needed to share today, on my 25th birthday. We seem to be in a constant state of comparing our lives to one another’s and being jealous of what others have that we don’t. We see on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram our friends’ announcements of engagements, weddings, and babies, new cars, new homes, and trips around the world. In the moment, our lives seem so drab in comparison that we fail to see the positive things we’ve done in our own life – no matter how big or how small. The women that I’ve interviewed don’t let a little social media jealousy enter their lives. They carry on with their own journey.

A few weeks ago, an old friend whom I’d fallen out of touch with messaged me and said I looked so happy and asked what I did for a living. My answer to her was simple, I have a job that I love, a blog that I love, and a wonderful support group within my family and friends (all of whom I also love). We sent some messages back and forth, catching up on each other’s lives from the past few years, and the funny thing is, that I had the exact same thoughts about her life as she did about mine, that she looked so happy with the path she’d chosen for herself.

What I’ve learned through this interview series and these stories is that sometimes we need to take a step back and see our lives from someone else’s perspective. The positives we’ve had and the negatives we’ve conquered are all part of who we are and make each of us awesome individuals. We all have our own unique stories, filled with both heartache and triumph, and it is up to us how those stories will shape us. Through creating 25 Faces I have learned that the most daunting of goals can be reached, the most difficult of situations can be overcome, if we only believe ourselves capable. My hope is that each and every one of you will take that step back and realize just how great you are!