I woke up to the sound of an alarm this morning. Not my alarm, but my boyfriend's. He's been really busy lately, so getting used to waking up before 8am has got me in a bit of a spin. But even despite the annoying iPhone ringtone, my first thought was the same as it was last year and many June 22nds before... I feel the same, yet so different. Since turning 21, no birthday has been quite the same bundle of excitement. Not because I didn't have some huge party or whatever, but because of the impending doom of getting older. Someone will probably scoff at this, but I'm fuckin' terrified of getting wrinkles, joint pain, and internal problems (oh wait, I already have those!).
And so, I rolled around in bed for a while before eventually getting up to do my usual hygiene. What do you know! The pimple on my forehead has swollen to a terrifyingly familiar size reminiscent of my teenage years, and my eyebrows could use a thorough tweezing. Ugh. Maybe it's my face trying to tell me something? Maybe turning 24 isn't as horrifying as it sounds in my head? I don't know, but where the hell are the tweezers. Moments later I'm being summoned into the kitchen for a delicious treat: pancakes with bananas and bacon! Okay, maybe this year isn't going to be so scary after all.
The day went by like so many others before until finally Tomy came back home from his hectic day at the new office. In his hands he had not one, but two bouquets of flowers for the birthday girl. Funny how age and experience can change even such essential opinions like, when I was 19 I thoughts flowers were a waste. Why not buy me something I can use or experience, like chocolate or a notebook? But now, a few years later, I really like receiving flowers from my beau. For the evening we ordered Japanese food from a fancy Japanese restaurant we used to live near to when we first met because as a gift Tomy bought us tickets to Tokyo! We're not going until September, but I'm excited to have this trip to look forward to towards the end of summer. Speaking of Tokyo, if you have any tips or blog posts I should read before going, leave them in the comments below :)
And now on to my bucket list of things to do before turning 25...
Save money. A lot of people under 25 don't have great jobs that let them do cool things like start savings accounts. Hell, I barely have a "job" to begin with (freelancer, baby!). But 25 is just that much closer to the age when elders start asking about life plans and having babies seems like something you actually have to start talking to your gyno about. Ugh, I know, annoying. The truth is, it's time to get serious. Savings are important because you really never know when an extra thousand bucks or two can save your life. I'm going for a cool $10k.
Begin a fitness routine. This is another annoying one, but it has to be mentioned. Unless you're blessed with amazing genes that keep your metabolism set to "teenager mode," you're probably starting to notice things aren't quite staying put the way they used to. Hello, cellulite! Wooooooo! #fml. I'm definitely late to this game, so I'm adding this to the list for my own sake. I'm super lazy, so even getting me to stretch on the yoga mat is a freaking miracle. But what's worse? Getting chubby or sweating more than usual a few times a week? You decide.
Get a checkup. Speaking of babies and back aches, there's nothing more important that your health. I know I don't want to end up with a surprise cyst to take care of, and with my family history of cancers and heart problems, I've got quite a few appointments to make. So, when the tube is being stuck down my throat next week to check for an ulcer, I'll just have to tell myself it's for my own good. My body will thank me later... I hope.
Ask people to take photos of me. I don't mean blog photos, because I've got plenty of those. What I'm talking about here is photos of fun times! Photos taken with an actual camera that I can print out and frame one day or send to a long lost friend after moving away or whatever. Seriously, though. Photos of your feet or food are okay, but they won't mean much in a few years when you want to show off how pretty you looked that one time in Vegas and all you have from the entire trip is iPhone snaps of all the booze you drank.
Write things down. Not everybody has a bad memory, but I sure as hell have noticed a steep decline in mine. Hell, I've already forgotten a face or a name of someone I once used to sit next to every single day for an entire 9 months at school. Last year some guy at a cafe was happy to see me and I had no idea who he was. It was pretty embarrassing to say the least. And so, as psychology tells us, in order to retain a better memory, our brains need to work harder. I already read much more than I used to, so my goal is going to be to write things down more often. Write in my diary, write letters, write more blog posts, write to-do lists in my pocketbook (yes, I am an old lady).
Put effort into relationships. You know how like, every middle aged person seems to have that group of friends or best friend that they've known for 30 years or more? Chances are, they met during school or some miserable job during their early twenties. Seldom do you hear of friendships built after someone's settled down and had kids. By the time all that happens people just don't have the time to make real friends anymore. And so, because I've always sucked at making friends, I'm going to put in extra effort to solidify what I have now and weed out all the toxic waste from my life as efficiently as I can. If that means a Facebook friend purge, then so be it.
Have a social life. If you're a hermit like me then this one's going to require a bit more muscle than the rest of the list. In the long run you'll thank me, though! This one ties right in with the friendship thing. For people who don't have many friends, the problem is often a lack of opportunity to make friends. When this is the case, I recommend picking up a hobby that you can do in a group. If you're into gardening, take a gardening class. If you like to read, join a book club. Into burlesque? Try a pole dancing class. Really, do it!
Take risks. I cannot emphasize this any more than with a ton of exclamation marks (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) because honestly, now is the time. This is the peak of your physical being, the height of your liberal thinking, the best time to just say "to hell with it!" and do that crazy thing you've always thought about trying. Eat sushi, jump out of a plane, learn to sew, whatever it is, just do it.