Monday, March 29, 2010

On Turning 25

I am writing this on a plane between Saigon and Hanoi. This weekend marked my 25th birthday. I am now a quarter of a century old. Despite the weeks leading up to my birthday being some of the busiest of my life, I've been able to think and realise a bit about what it means to be 25.

First off, it means birthdays are really not that important anymore. More exciting and more urgent things come first. Like your job. Hence having to work this weekend. I can no longer have my mom write me a sick note .

It also means I am an adult now. I can stop pretending to be mature, composed and proffesional in everyday situations, especially at work. I've realised the majority of other people are also pretending. Although other people around my age and older seem to know what they are doing, this is a lie. They are just as lost and confused as me. I bet even my dad doesn't know what he's doin sometimes. 

I have no more excuses for not doing things in my life. I can especially no longer say I'll save it for when I'm older. For instance, playing sports. I have never been into playing sports, and it is very unlikely I'll ever start. My parents must have put me in every kind of sport as a kid:  tennis, soccer, swimming, even figure skating. I need to except that I'll never be that into sports. Same thing for playing an instrument. I'll probably never play an instrument in my life.

People can no longer say I am too young to know what love is. I think by this time in my life I can say I have experienced what love is.... And what it isn't. I just am not sure If it's turned out to be as easy as I thought.

I am not going to grow out of anything anymore. Like my big italian nose. I don't think my face is suddenly going to grow proportionately to my nose between the age of 25 and 30. I also will always have that soft layer of flesh under my skin. Yes, the one that has elicited comments such as " you look so skinny but your skin is very fatty" ( got to love the honesty of the Vietnamese people). I need to accept that my looks are only going to go down from here.

However I am not accepting that it's downhill from here. Just because i havent done something ive wanted to do by now, doesnt mean i still cant try. Its just trying is a lot more difficult. 

I have been the happiest I have ever been lately. I am experiencing things about the world, and in turn about myself, that are invaluable. Life is becoming less about freedom and ignoring the consequences, but developping friendships that will outlast any particular stage in my life. It's become about learning how to live to make sure I am still happy when I'm 30, because my needs and values will have changed by then...

Let's just not talk about my 30s for another 5 years, ok?


Jeannette said...

You can always learn to play an instrument...cant we?

Gino said...

I always know what I am doing !! I think.

Sarah said...

your looks, like everything else is constantly evolving, not necessarily going up or down.
Ever notice how sometimes you haven't seen someone in a long time and then you see them again and their hair has gotten super long, or their style has changed... that's the way I see it - I think the way you feel inside is what people first notice when they first see you, because as for the rest of your physical, things are always going to be the same. If your heart is happy, young and alive, you'll always look your "best ever".
Besides, 25 is hardly the peak of good-looking-ness.

From what I'm able to see from the other side of the planet, you are the most beautiful you've ever been my dear. Happy 25th! It was the best year ever for me... I hope it will be for you as well.

Jonathan said...

Jeannette. I don't know. I tried to learn how to play the guitar a couple years ago... It just didn't work.

Dad. You can't possibly know everything you are doing at work... Right? It seems often that it's more about the level of someone's confidence than about actual ability. And if I'm totally wrong... Then I must just be bad at my job!

Sarah. Thanks for those inspiring words. I guess I talk about ageing as a linear thing.. When it's more of a multi-directional systemy thing. I like your way of thinking, and I like that you think i look better than ever! Haha

paolo said...

Hi, John it’s uncle Paolo I forgot to whist you happy birthday. I am sorry I always think about you I go see your blog Avery day. I very proud of you. Good job PS happy birthday love uncle Paolo.

paolo said...

Hi, John it’s uncle Paolo I forgot to whist you happy birthday. I am sorry I always think about you I go see your blog Avery day. I very proud of you. Good job PS happy birthday love uncle Paolo.

Josie said...

Jon, My Son

You are a Very Special & Unique Person...You Have Accomplished so Much and You will Accomplish so much more.

It is O.K. to think that there is still so much out there to Explore or to Love and in Life...
It is this journey that will bring you Unforgettable Memories and many Friendships...

Love You & Miss you Lots

Alison said...

Happy Birthday!

Your comments are very wise -- I also learned at a certain point that accepting myself as I am makes me a lot happier than pushing to change things that are just natural to me. But also, you're still super young, silly!