Turning 25 on the 25th signified a golden birthday, my golden birthday. There was no big party, no popping bottles in some club somewhere, and certainly no tiara or sash. There was, however, cake. And I got to eat it, too. Instead of one celebration on one day, there were quite a few sprinkled about the days before and after the 25th. Micro-celebrations of something more than just a number.
I approached my quarter life with excitement, anticipation and an eager ownership to take the reigns of my journey. It became evident fairly quickly that I wasn’t about to go it alone, nor I had I ever, on any given birthday. Surrounding me was a warmth of family and friends, new and old, and a reconnection with siblings and cousins I had spent my childhood adventuring as imaginary superheroes. The doppelgangers of who we turned out to be; our altered selves from some other time. And the sweetness of good storytelling, both in the listening and living sense.
I was listening not only to the tall tales of our shared past or the idyllic dreams of our futures, but to the greater undercurrent that prompted these conversations. Where were we going? None of us were in control. But we were together, along for the ride. Best to buckle in and put your hands up. What a paradox to wanting to take control of your life at such a pivotal age, determined to change the course of a life yet to live and almost certain you were born to discover. If there was anything that I learned in the past week, it was how enjoyable life is when these things don’t consume you. Suddenly, it was all about the adventure. That was where the real stories were hidden. How we were going to tell them was entirely up to us.
For me, it was with a little more patience, a little more kindness, and a little more daring. Being bold doesn’t mean you have to be a rebel. It just means you have to defy your own logic. On my 25th birthday, I shattered the notion of the “power of one”. I already believed in it and knew it was true. It could be done, I had been doing it. It was written in all the previous chapters of my life.
This new one, though, deserved something more for my character. Something much more special. It may have something to do with my 28% caregiver persona, or it may have to do with seeing myself in a different light: one that enjoys dreaming with strangers, sharing my passion with those who may not know me quite as well as my close-knit sweater vest of family and friends. Caring doesn’t just mean giving care to the ones you love. Sometimes, it just means sharing the things you love with others. I’ll call it “the power of plenty.” And it will weave the fabric for the rest of my sweater, one that gets warmer with every stitch, every fiber. Kind of like the binding of a good book, where the best stories are kept.