quarter of a century

Today is my 25st birthday, which means I’m a quarter of a century old. Normally, I have complete anxiety meltdowns before my birthday that wind up in overnight trips to Vegas. I have very high, often unrealistic expectations of myself, and each year that goes by is a year I’m behind. This year though, I’m finding myself oddly contemplative and content at the fact that I am indeed older.

My friend and I always joke that if we were to die today, we’d be pretty happy with the life we’ve led. In 25 years I’ve lived everywhere from small town Southern California to Maryland to Sevilla, Spain to Sunset Boulevard. I’ve managed to work in fast food, college athletics, as an accountant, for a non-profit, work-from-home freelance, entry level corporate, and finally, I’m beginning my first job that is actually a career.

The last year has been crazy for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself, like the fact that I do actually like to cook, and I don’t have to be “the fat kid” for the rest of my life. I’ve finally begun working very hard for my goals and in the process have become a columnist for two publications, been featured in Sports Illustrated, the LA Times and USA Today. I’m starting a clothing line (launching in June… Skyline Apparel… shameless plug) and working toward selling my art and poetry. By the end of the year I’ll also have finished my novel, two screenplays and three TV shows (someone has to buy them at some point, right?).

I don’t say any of this to brag, but rather to inspire people. People like me who are terrified at the end of every day, let alone year, because there are endless goals to be achieved, and miles to go before I sleep (*nod* Robert Frost). I am not self-impressed because there’s always more I can do, to be better. I’m never done improving.

So, as I am a quarter of a century old, I’m reminded how my life has come full circle. I was born on May 16,1987 during a Los Angeles Lakers game. Tonight I will celebrate while watching the team I love with people I love. Even though I’m older, I’ve finally realized what my parents have always taught us: Do your best; no one can ask you for more than your best. It took me 25 years, but I finally get it. If you do your best, you can never be disappointed, and life is suddenly peaceful (albeit stressful at times).

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