Twenty Six

Previous birthday posts: Twenty one  | Twenty two | Twenty three | Twenty four | Twenty five

Let’s get one thing straight: I’m officially old. No one argue with me on this, lol.

In my dictionary, anything beyond twenty five is already considered old. A longtime high school friend and I were talking about turning 27, 28, 29, and eventually 30…and we both cringed at the thought. Another of my good friends and I discussed the next steps of being an adult by that age: get married, have kids and raise them well, start a family, and let your career slowly die down (unless you can manage it up top with your family).

Oh my god. Let’s focus on the present for now, please!

Society has this construct of a woman’s timeline and while I am trying my best to keep up with it, it seems like I haven’t. I spent my early twenties focusing on my career headstrong, building it, nurturing it, taking big leaps to maximize it. And as I turn twenty six, I realize one thing: I still have a whole life ahead of me to make art and share stories (and possibly fall in love. Ha!).

Maybe it was good that I set the groundwork early—I’m the type who likes to set myself up for uncertainty so *at least* I could breathe a little, but honestly, uncertainty is creeping up as every year goes by. It’s never really going to go away. So might as well stay put for now.

As I always say, birthdays feel like a rite of passage for me, for the mere reason that it coincides closely with the new year and “new beginnings”. I usually cling on to the whole “new year, new me” concept but actually, I never really change. Sure, some things transpire in a year’s worth of time, but I’m still the same old me…with a bit of an upgrade.

I’ve never been this lowkey on celebrating birthdays, but after last year’s party, I just wanted to spend this day doing things I love and taking a mandatory day-off. Last week I had my pre-birthday reading from Practical Magic (thanks, Chinggay!) and it was a very intense reading. Over the weekend, I decluttered 70% of my things, and it’s been giving me a lot of mental clarity, to say the least. Today, I drove to yoga at eight in the morning and never felt more energized than ever (it’s been months since I last took a class), then I had a quiet brunch at my favorite cafe. Spell #titalife, lol. The years just make you realize how drastic things change, no?

I have to say though, twenty five was a whirlwind. But I did pick up a lot of life lessons: from the basic ones for survival, like how to reverse park or make a swift u-turn in congested roads, to the most complex ones like figuring out how to survive 3ish months in a first world country. In between, I’ve learned so much about myself, how I think and behave as a person, and how the world coincides with what I do (although it doesn’t align most times, sometimes, it does anyway). Growing up I have been accustomed to following the rules, and my early 20s have proved to me that breaking the rules once in awhile makes life 100% more interesting (and risky). My 25th year was full of anxiety, depression, and vulnerability—and while I have spent the last few months sulking over my inability to deal with quarter life crisis, I’m happy to have picked myself up and promised to rise above this. So, I’m carrying this confidence with me as I turn a year older.

It’s so funny to look back on my past self and see a big discrepancy between who I am now and who I used to be. Sure, things change, circumstances change, but I felt like a bigger change was in the works. I no longer have to cage myself just because this is what ~people think~ I should be, or maybe how ~I think~ I should be. All my life’s been a series of “I can’t do it” and “this is not possible” and once I consistently broke out of that shell, I was left with more problems. The possibilities being endless always worry me, because my instinct is to always jump on things and just do the work while it’s there, you know? I’m slowly learning that some things need to wait, and timing is really essential. The universe may not be aligned with your timing, but it’s up to you to really draw the line.

This “getting past 25” stage is both exciting and scary, like most years. I am now more in control of my life in many ways, and at the same time, I’d like to think I’ve lived long enough to know how life should go…so far. So far! I mean, there are going to be a lot of weird things happening here and there, I’m sure, but as long as I’m nurturing this relationship with myself then I’ll be fine.

No birthday wishes this year. Universe, you know what I want. Surprise me, will you? 🙂





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