Thursday, April 15, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
The past few weeks were jam-packed with 21st birthday celebrations, dinner dates, Italy arrangements, and mini trips to LA and San Juan Capistrano. Even with this hectic schedule, I managed to complete and cross off a gratifying amount of tasks on my never ending "to-do" list, and have a few realizations.
In less than a week I will be turning 25. While most of my friends want to run and hide in solitude at the thought of being that much closer to 30, I welcome it with open arms. Many people view getting older as a bad thing; often the same people who have given their life a timeline. Graduate college at 22. Begin the career of my dreams shortly after. Get married at 25 and have my first child at 27. "I am not where I pictured myself at this age." Hearing this personal proclamation makes me cringe. How boring would life be if every year unfolded the way we planned? It's life's unexpected challenges and journeys that continue to shape us into who we are. People look back on their lives with each turning year and concentrate only on what they have yet to accomplish, not what they have already achieved.
I see every year as a fresh beginning - a clean slate - and this one is no different. A little more than a month after turning a quarter of a century old, I will relocate to a foreign country, make new friends, and begin a life in uncharted territory with a new roommate. I can't start my 25th year any better.
As I reflect where I am at, at this age, I couldn't be happier. I have already accomplished so much in my short life and am proud of where I am today. Life is full of ups and downs and while I have trekked through those valleys quite a bit in the last few years, I keep climbing up. When I begin to think it doesn't get much better, life surprises me yet again and I conclude I am happier than ever. Life is what you make of it. You are the only one in control of your happiness and the outcome of this journey.
Driving southbound on the 405 freeway, it hit me that moving to Italy is the most selfish thing I have done thus far. The realization that this move is for me and me only, brought me to tears. (Rachel, you can stop laughing now. You know I cry at rainbows). Countless people have stated that I will meet a handsome Italian man, fall madly in love, and get married. Despite that the idea of love always tends to send chills down my spine leaving me with a giddy feeling, I gawk at this concept. Finding my Prince Charming is last on my list at this point in my life. Being selfish and continuing to do things only for me is my main goal, and besides the only thing I count on falling in love with in Italy is the culture, delicious food, and beautiful scenery.
I live for these sporadic moments of awareness. It could be a song lyric, a familiar scent, or an old friend that triggers what I like to call "Aha" moments. At these instances I stop and reflect, sometimes have a good laugh. Other times cry at the realization that I love life and am only getting happier with each and every day.