My Twenty-fifth Anniversary of Life

*Originally posted April 14, 2015*

Well. It’s here. The big 2-5. I know it’s not quite the big 3-0, but it’s still kind of a big deal. 25 is halfway to 50. It’s a quarter of a century. I’m old. People have been telling me all of these things that I am now too old for (crop tops and clubbing, for starters), but I’m simultaneously hearing, “You’re still so young!” And that got me thinking. While I do a damn convincing wine-sipping, blazer-and-heels-wearing yuppie impression, the 16 year-old teenybopper inside of me is constantly trying to make an appearance. At 24, it was still sort of acceptable and kind of cute and endearing to be 16 inside. But now? Tragic failure. Thus, I hereby vow to cease the following activities, effective the eve of my 25th birthday (maybe).

1. Keeping up with and using the newest slang terms. While my job is to work with teenagers and know what they are talking about, I do not need to use the words they are using. Ever. If anyone hears me say, “Your eyebrows are on fleek,” please feel free to remind me that words like that sound ridiculous coming out of my mouth, and I’m not a Drake-obsessed child.

2. Wearing inappropriate clothing at inappropriate times. Gone are the days of shopping in the Juniors section at Winners. What I used to deem “grown up, sophisticated going out clothes,” are now just ‘clothes.’ Goodbye, Forever 21. The witty graphic tee’s and weird patterns that once drew me in will now be best worn on someone who is actually 21. (Note: I reserve the right to wear whatever I want to dance class, and to wear crop tops when working out or at the beach. At least until I have children.)

3. Not listening to my body. Health is not something to take lightly, and it’s time I stop taking my health and my body for granted. When I think, “I should probably go to the doctor,” I will now go to the doctor. will not wait two weeks until the symptoms are worse and interfering with my ability to live my daily life.

4. Not saving money. While retail therapy, Starbucks, mani-pedi’s, and Kate Spade stationary is wonderful, preparing for your future is a pretty good idea. Remember back in the day when your parents told you to put 10% of your paycheque into savings? Yeah, it’s time to start doing that now.

5. Getting messy drunk. I know my limit. I’ve known my limit for at least five years now. At 25, there’s nothing funny about needing to be taken care of by your friends, or falling asleep beside a bucket. I’m not going to say this will never happen again, but it will definitely be limited to a MAXIMUM of one time a year. (Sidebar: I haven’t been messy drunk like that since my 21st birthday. The time I rapped the entire song 99 Problems by Jay-Z to “impress” my now-boyfriend, then-romantic-interest (December 2012) is a close second.)

6. Not competing with other women. By now, I am old enough to understand that nobody is perfect, everyone has insecurities, you can’t do it all, other people are awesome, and I am awesome, too. This quote is so true: “A flower does not think about competing with the flower next to it. It just blooms.” Why compare yourself to others? It doesn’t help you get any better. Talking trash about someone is trashy. Working on your own goals is motivating. I’m not the competitive type, and it’s time I acknowledge the wonderful qualities in even my worst enemies, rather than hating them for them.

7. Being uninformed. Not knowing what is going on in the world is not acceptable anymore. Especially given my career choice. While I love my little Langley bubble, knowing which countries are in crisis, being informed on current social justice issues, and making it a habit of more-than-occasionally flipping through a newspaper or The Huffington Post is important. I especially vow to cease being ignorant when it comes to Canadian politics. My right to vote should be treated like a privilege, and I intend to stop taking it for granted.

8. Settling. I know what I like, what I want, and what I’m worth. No more bad part-time jobs “just for now,” that turn into ruts, no more eating bad food to be polite/to tide me over, no more toxic, dead-end relationships (friends, family, romantic), just no more. There’s living within your means, and there’s settling. The knock-off Michael Kohrs bag, living within your means. Never gaining any headway at work because you’re a “behind the scenes kind of person” (aka too afraid to stand out), that’s settling.

9. Taking so many damn selfies. I can’t promise I’ll stop entirely. But I willtone it down.

10. Not wearing a jacket. Yes, my outfit is fantastic. No, I do not need to freeze to death to show it off. I’ll invest in a good winter jacket, rain jacket, and windbreaker.

Credit: Kim Windyka (www.thoughtcatalog.com) inspiring me to write this, by writing her own list that was scarily relatable for me.

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