1. Hey, I turn 25 today.

2. That’s a quarter of a century. Five years away from thirty. Oh my gosh, I’m so old!

3. Wait a second, it’s not that old. Really, it’s not that old. Maybe if I keep telling myself that, it will be true. It’s not that old.

4. At least I can rent a car now! But… when have I ever needed to rent a car?

5. It’s really not that old. A lot of my friends are 25 or above, and they don’t seem old. It’s still mid-twenties. That’s not old.

6. When I was a kid, I didn’t even think about being this old. 25 seemed ancient, like not even in my realm of imagination. But kids have weird views of age. It’s not that old.

7. Why am I even worried about it? Oh yeah, because I don’t feel like I have anything a normal 25 year old should have in terms of worldly success. I feel like I keep falling further behind.

8. There’s plenty of time for all that stuff. I’ve been… taking an alternative course. Having different experiences. Learning about myself. I’ll get there eventually.

9. Maybe. But is that what I actually want? To get there– to the normal, successful place? Will that actually make me satisfied, content?

10. I don’t know. If I’ve learned anything up to this point, it’s that my plans usually aren’t the best plans, and that the things the world lifts up as most desirable aren’t worth selling myself out to attain. God’s got so much more in store for me, a life that’s so much better than what I can dream up or what the world tells me I need.

11. But that leads me back to the same old question: then what? What’s next? I’m committed to following God, but this not knowing where He’s going next thing wears me down, makes me anxious. I know it’s about trust. And I’m trying. But I’m pretty bad at it.

12. Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief.

13. It’s not being 25 I’m scared about. It’s the rest of my life. Almost every day since I graduated from college, I’ve felt like a failure. I don’t want to feel that way for the rest of my life. It’s not a good feeling.

14. I wish I was better at a lot of things: writing, job interviews, keeping up with friends, making friends, staying disciplined, sharing my faith, discipling others, serving others, being selfless, math, using my time wisely, being a better sister/daughter/friend, being charismatic and funny, being frugal. I know I’m ok at some of these things, but being 25 makes me just want to be better. Because I have so much room for improvement. And I think if I was better at some of these things, people would like me better, I’d have closer friends, I’d get job offers, I’d be more productive, I’d be more content.

15. But that’s a lie, too. My identity isn’t in what I do. It’s in who I am. Whose I am. That’s where my satisfaction should be, too.

16. It’s hard to overcome all these lies. This all sounds pretty pitiful and mopey. It’s honestly where I’m at. But I don’t think it’s the whole story.

17. I’ve got a lot of great ideas for what I want to do this year. I even made a list of 25 things I want to commit to doing this year (though I’ve only come up with 24 right now). Things like: read 25 books, commit to praying for 25 people all year, visit 25 places I’ve never been before, etc. I’ll try to even share some of these things as I go along, if I can.

18. Maybe I didn’t imagine 25 at all as a kid, or didn’t imagine 25 like this as I grew older. But the truth is, in the midst of all the fear and uncertainty, I’ve got an imagination for 25 and beyond that is full of hope. It’s not that way because of what I’m planning or hoping for, but because, even if I’m not so good at trusting Him sometimes, I know God’s at work on plans beyond what I can imagine.

19. That’s pretty cool. You know, 25 has some years on it, but it’s really not that old. And being old isn’t a bad thing either. Experience is good. Perspective is good. Stories are good. All these things come with age.

20. It’s funny. I’m not a super competitive person, but so often I look at life as a race. And like everybody else, I like to win. It bothers me a ton when I feel behind. But it’s not a race. Not at all. It’s one long journey, and no matter what, when it’s over, I know I’ll arrive at the right destination.

21. That’s either quite poetic or quite cliche. Or both. Eh, I can’t help it. I’m a philosophical cheeseball.

22. Honestly, I’ve collected quite a lot to be thankful for over these 25 years. In my life, I’ve lived alongside amazing people who have shown me love. I’ve had tons of fun just being myself and enjoying the opportunities I’ve been given. And I know this is just the beginning.

23. I just thought of my 25th thing to do while I’m 25: write out 25 things I’m thankful for every day. Don’t worry, I won’t post them on Facebook. I’m not that much of a cheeseball.

24. You know, I think year 25 is going to be pretty great. I know it won’t be easy. I know some days I’m not going to like it. I know all my problems aren’t going to magically disappear with a positive attitude. But I’m excited for what’s to come.

25. Hey, I turn 25 today.