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who i am at 25.

NOT MY PHOTO!!! found via audrey hepburn complex. source unknown. please tell me if you know who's photo this is.

i've been thinking a lot about what i would--what i should--write for this.

and the thing is, well, i haven't come up with much.

other than...

i'm okay.

here i am. 25. and i'm okay.

thrilling, right?

well, for me, it is. okay is nothing short of utterly and completely thrilling.

because for so long i was not. okay.

and then i was not quite.

i have moments. all the time. moments where i feel like i should have done more. been more. said more. moments where i feel so far behind. hell, i'm 25 already. this is it? this is all i've accomplished? but then i quietly remind myself that we all have different paths. different life trajectories. our stories vary. and my accomplishments, my multitudinous (yup, i just used that word) victories are mostly private. things that others might never understand. but for me those victories are the difference between not okay. not quite. and just fine.

and just fine, okay, whatever-you-want-to-call-it is the beginning. the beginning of everything. the part of my story where my successes become (i hope) a bit more public.

so who am i at 25?

i'm someone who believes that unsolicited smiles by strangers are one of the most profound acts of kindness possible.

i still use the crabtree and evelyn room spray that my mother gifted me for my 19th birthday. it immediately brings me back to a time of naivete and endless possibility.

i find the music of florence + the machine to solicit more sock-to-wood-floor dancing than is proper or appropriate or even becoming of a lady of my pedigree (and now) age.

the quote that makes the most sense to me right now--right at this very moment: "sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives i'm not living" (jonathan safran foer {of course}).

if i could go anywhere tomorrow i'd hop on a boat and sail up the dalmatian coast. or i'd return to rome. and sit in church after church after church. saturating myself in beauty and history. satiating myself with prayer (and a lot, a lot of gelato).

i don't know where life goes from here. but i'm so excited to go boldly into the unknown. to try. and to fail a little, as inevitably i will. but also to start gathering successes. collecting them one by one in the cradle of my arms so i can lay them on the alter of this life as my humble (and multitudinous) thanks.

i am so thankful to be 25. to be 25 and just fine.

see last year's who i am at 24.
image via.


kara lynn said...

happy happy birthday dear meg!! i am so happy we met this summer. and quite honestly i want you to bask in this day knowing you have conquered amazing victories and helping others do the same. so many other. me included. no shame in that. none.

hats off to you! and please listen to the Beatles birthday song today!
ha -kind of a sister tradition in my family.

xo much love



Jay said...

happy birthday meg!! i want you to know that you inspire me, a lot, and some days your words are just what gets me through that day :)

Emily Anne said...

Oh, happiest birthday, Meg!

You are a perpetual source of inspiration, and as hokey as it may sound, I think you give a voice to a lot of women {and people really, but I think you resonate greatly with women} who can't put words together as nicely as you. I certainly feel like you've captured moments of my own life more succinctly than I ever could {& I implore you to write a book at some point or another...}

I hope you're celebrating with a huuuuge scoop of ice cream, a fancy cocktail or some good champagne. But mostly with friends. You give so much {tons! You give us tons!} and you should be celebrated!!! xo

Cat* said...

Happy, happy Birthday!!!
I love your blog! You are a beautiful person, inside and out and I'm always excited to read your lovely posts! Don't be so hard to yourself and just enjoy your life :)

heather said...

happy birthday, lovely. i hope you did something to celebrate you today. :)

and at 25? you are one hell of an inspiration to so many admiring readers.

sydney with a y said...

happy birthday! this post was great :)

Abigail Jasmine said...

happy birthday!

gorgeous photograph..captures your words so gracefully!

Alyssa said...

Happy Birthday Gorgeous Girl.

This post made me tear up a little. not only because the number 25 is still freaking me out a week on (im a week in and no extra wrinkles to count, so going strong) but because i have done the whole omg what have i done with that 25 look at what others have accomplished, but you are right... everyone takes a different path... everyone fights different battles, we cannot compare to each other. but we are all as great as the next and cannot lose sight of the happy things in life.
Hope you are having an amazing day xxx

julika said...

Happy Birthday! thanks for this lovely post!i am turning 25 next month and i struggle with it - but thanks to your writing i feel better about it! have a lovely and wonderful birthday <3 julika

olivia rae said...

beautiful post! You are such a poised, thoughtful, amazing woman and I'm so happy to know you.

P.S. Today is also Ty's 25th birthday! Didn't realize you guys were born on exactly the same day!


Miss Wendy said...

Happy Birthday Meg!!!! Who I am at 26 is a girl who is so very thankful I found your blog, because you seem to always write exactly what I need to read.

I hope you have a wonderful birthday, and I'm excited to see where your life goes from here :)

AbbieBabble said...

Happiest of birthdays, Meg. This is such a beautiful post, a beautiful description of who you are right at this point. I love it. Happy 25.

p.s. Welcome to the quarter-century club! It's pretty nice here, promise!

Emily said...

meg meg meg, happy birthday!
you are a wonderful writer. you say things perfectly. and i loooove this quote (sometimes i can hear my bones straining under the weight of all the lives i'm not living).

Sarah said...

Happy 25th! I wish you a fulfilling and joyful year, Meg.

chels.e. said...

what a great post. turning 25 was a big 'reflective' birthday for me too. you are so right, being 25 and fine is a great thing to be. happy birthday, and cheers to 25 more.

jaderox213 said...

happy birthday!

this was a beautiful post (it literally brought tears to my eyes) and i think it speaks to a lot of women in our age-range.

thanks for sharing, it made my day!

Lola said...

Happy Birthday Meg! I think at 25 you are pure perfection. I just don't think you see it yet. ;)

Erin said...

Happy Birthday! It's good that you're just fine, and that you're looking forward to all that lies ahead.

You are beautiful. And really eloquent. Those are two more things you are at 25!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday! 25 was an interesting time for me - it represented a change in consciousness for me. It's not that I became suddenly older, just more aware of the implications of my choices and therefore, all the more concerned about making the right ones! This year has been an explosion of realizations that I hope will eventually lead to something great! Best of luck in this new year! May you find all the love and adventure that you so richly deserve! xoxo

Lourdes said...

Happy Birthday Meg! Hope you have a wonderful day and many many more in good health.

jenna said...

Happy Birthday Meg! As a fellow 25-year-old, I welcome you the Quarter of a Century club!

And by the way, that Jonathan Safran Foer quote makes a lot of sense to me too.

I hope that your 25th year exceeds your expectations and fills you will much delight! :)

becky said...

Happy Birthday!

I am only twenty and this already makes a lot of sense to me.

I do hope you have a wonderful 25th year.

Camilla Leila said...

i'm going to bring you some post-birthday love in a few weeks but for now, this will have to do.

i think in this day and age if we're "okay" then we're doing pretty damn well for ourselves. so i think it's a wonderful thing to be in an "okay" place. it leaves you so much hope for the future, and still allows you to be content in the present.

i hope you enjoy this next year and i hope it brings you SO MANY little and big victories.

lots of love,

city girl said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEG! Believe me, being fine is quite alright. I hope you have the most fabulous of days!

lindsey said...

happy happy birthday. it only gets better from here on out! i promise.


annie said...

happy birthday! you give me hope that the start of my own 25th year will be a fabulous new beginning filled with hope and anticipation. i can't wait to see what lies behind the curtain. thanks for the reminder that what we are doing and how we are spending our years may seem small, but they are so very big.

suzyjaclyn said...

Happy birthday, Meg!! 25 is a great, great age to be.
Thank you for giving readers little keyholes into those quiet victories.
From a grateful reader [age 31].

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday Meg! I hope today is nothing less than amazing for you. You are such an inspiration and beautifuly talented woman! I hope one day we can cross paths. xoxo

Alex said...

Happiest birthday to you! May 25 be the best yet! :)

P.S. that quote REALLY hit home with me. I know just what you mean.

ahlin said...

this makes me want to smile more.

happy birthday :)

yowana.synkracy said...

Happy Birthday Meg! :) I love this post, and not just because I'm 25 and okay too :) But because it's honest and beautiful and I wish I'd written one like this on my 25th birthday 1.5 months ago... xxxooo

thereflectiveself said...

Gourgeous post. I think your self awarness will get you very far in life. Your blog is beautiful & you have faithful followers. That alone is a heck of an accomplishment!

C&N said...

Happy birthday. I love 25. There's something so old and new about it.

jdavissquared said...

I find you to be quite accomplished for a 25 year old. You certainly are more in touch with yourself than I was at your age. Besides, you're young, you have your whole life ahead of you! Happy birthday, dear!

erin elder said...

Happy Birthday!!

You are such an inspiring writer, i loved this post! 25 is/was one of my favorite years. I turn 26 in 1 month exactly... There is something 'just right' about 25... i hope you enjoy it too!!


Katya said...

beautiful post meg. happy, happy birthday!

Julie said...

Happy Birthday!!!

jackiek said...

happy birthday! i hope you have a fabulous birthday because you deserve it oh so much! xo

gigi said...

Happy birthday, Meg!

And I think being just fine can be really wonderful.

jill said...

Happy birthday dear meg! Hope some sort of wonderful wanders your way.

Ashley said...

Happy Birthday Meg! I hope you had a wonderful day. Love the thoughtful post. I think you have done quite well for yourself so far. Keep on keeping on. :) You are awesome.

Georgette said...

Happiest Birthday Meg!!

You are truly extraordinary, a most beautiful part of this world.

Thank you for writing, and sharing your heart with your readers.

I wish you a year unbounded with truth and beauty.


Jamie said...

I love your posts & the way you write! Happy birthday! :]

off switch said...

happy happy 25th birthday meg! do you think you could email me your address in NYC? i'd love to send you a tiny something i think you'd like, something to keep your mind in rome with the cathedrals and gelato. ;) xo.

Sara Louise said...

Joyeaux anniversaire! And cheers to being fine :-)

Mary Grace said...

Happy 25th Birthday! You're such an inspiration!

I LOVE your blog!

Emily said...

Happy Birthday TO you! Happy birthday to YOU! Happy Birthday dear Meg! (I guess I sing online now, rofl!) Happy Happy birthday to you! I hope this year is filled with many blessings!


A Sunday Kind Of Love said...

bonne anniversaire! happy birthday! or, as the romans would say: tanti auguri! / buon compleanno! (well, perhaps the romans wouldn't say that, but here in italian-speaking switzerland we do).
i think you have accomplished much in your 25 years- including being a great inspiration to the many admirers of your lovely blog!
also, you live in new york city which i am going to have to do soon (aka: supporting myself) and it scares me to death (rent! utilities! job?!)!
if i am as fabulous at 25 as you are i will consider it a great accomplishment!

Robby Spratt said...

Happy birthday! I really enjoyed being 25, so I hope you do too. :)

Bessie said...

I've been reading your blog for a few months now and I'd have to say that this post speaks exactly to where I am in my life. Just turned 25 this year, too, so I completely get it! Happy birthday Meg & have a great year! Xoxo

Amy said...

Oh man, I totally relate to how you feel at 25. And THANK YOU for making those thoughts totally, completely acceptable.

Jennifer M. said...

So true! I think this is the primary thing I've learned since passing the 25-year mark (I'm now 31). I may not have accomplished what I thought I would have by this point in my life, but I've accomplished a lot of other things, and I've also learned that life's trajectories look differently for different people. And I'm finally okay with that (most days).