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reflecting back. (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.


Jayda said...

Ahh that JSF quote is among my favorites! What a great book.

Libby said...

Oh I understand this so much! I just turned 26 (sept 25). I feel ya on so manys levels

Anonymous said...

Victories that are mostly private.. such comforting words for me as I approach 25 myself. Thank you!

Taylor said...

I'm halfway through my 25th year and I feel exactly the same way. I always had high hopes that 25 was going to be my year to find love, to be where I want to be, a place that breathes life into me and not me trying to breathe life into it. I still have half a year to go so all is not lost, I suppose. I have the same feeling of being just fine. It's not a place I want to be. I actually just wrote about that myself.

Sometimes I wish I could be like one of those free spirits in the movies that just spontaneously goes for what they want and everything just works out. Sometimes I hate being responsible. But at 25 I can't justify not being so.

Just wanted to say thanks. Your words spoke to me today.

Kate said...

The quote is simply amazing. I might have to steal it for my senior quote.

"But I'm so excited to go boldly into the unknown." This is exactly how I feel right now. I have no clue where I'm going to be a year from now. It's scary and exciting at the same time.

Alisha said...

our stories are all different. and yours is wonderfully written. love that quote!

Erin {pughs' news} said...

Happy Birthday, Meg. xo

wildchild said...

i love this. thank you so much for sharing. also, maybe that trip to rome with so much gelato should be your 26th birthday present to yourself :)

Mary Grace said...

Almost 21. Next month. Eek. I'm gonna start reflecting too.

christine said...

here's to another year of being just fine. there's a lot to be said for that.

happiest of birthdays!

Micaela said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Micaela said...

happy birthday beautiful friend!!! 25 was my "scary age"-- only because i knew there was no point to stay in a relationship when we didn't see the same on the big things (read, children). 25 i became brave... and i walked away even if it meant breaking my heart in the process.

but then i found him.

and now he's my husband.

all this happened in my 25th year so i just know you will in fact be "just fine" though i pray more than just that for you birthday girl. xoxo

Courtney said...

Meg, this post was beautiful, just as your writing always is. I'm so glad you always share your thoughts with the rest of us here. Have a fabulous birthday, I hope today is the start of a wonderful new year for you, full of being just fine and, quite possibly, better than ever.

Courtney said...

whoops, perhaps tomorrow should be the start of a wonderful new year for you... but no matter, I hope you go out with a bang today before you start your wonderful new year tomorrow : )

Cassie said...

Happy birthday, lovely! This post is so sweet. I must read some Jonathan Safran Foer. I've heard such great things.

To share a favorite on your birthday--"Here's to 365 days lovlier than the last!"


angela hardison said...

happiest of birthdays! 25 is a wonderful age to be.

The Heart of the City said...

Really beautiful post. Happy 25th! I am sending much love and positive vibes your way. To success and love and happiness for all of your years to come.

Sarah said...

Happy Birthday Meg, and fellow Libra! Hope you have a wonderful time. :)

Anonymous said...

happy birthday!

Leighana said...

i love this. i finally feel "ok" too. it is so ridiculously thrilling, i agree. happy birthday!

tc & wc said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tiffany said...

Happy Birthday!! I absolutely love this post idea for a birthday---I may be stealing it in a month for myself. :)


ilene @ muchloveilly said...

happy birthday! and your writing never ceases to amaze me. loved this so much!

Rod and Alex - aka: "Rolex" said...

Happy Birthday!!!!

communikate. said...

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


it makes me smile and feel happy just thinking about that kind act.

twenty six is going to look gorgeous on you, meg!

Lisa said...

Happy birthday!

Don't worry, you're only 25. The road is still long and you don't know what's around the corner.

Having said that though, I'm 23 and feeling like I haven't achieved anything. Goodness, I'm not even through with uni yet!

Luisa Rodríguez said...

I have just one thing to say here.

When I was 25 (now I'm almost 29), I had absolutely no idea I'd be so unbelievably happy by now! Not that used to be miserable, but I had no idea that by this time, I'd be married to a wonderful man, that I'd love my job and my life would be filled with the most unexpected things.

By that time, only about three and a half years ago, I had no idea I loved camping, I had never bathed in a lake and hadn't traveled so much as we did. It's incredible how oblivious I was of how much life could change in 3 years...

Love your blog!!


Hannah said...

Happy birthday! Semi-new follower here, I just love your blog. I love how you write what you feel, it's so honest.

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

perfect. You're awesome!



The Childlike Empress said...

happy birthday lovely lady.

you know they say that birthdays are good for your health, the more you have the older you get!


Demi said...

Happy bday Meg, i genuinely wish u all the best! I feel you, i understand so perfectly how u feel i turned 26 on Sept 2nd.

P.S: How in which program do u edit those pics of urs with the black frame and the small yellow number sand letters on top? I just love them!


Simply Mily said...

Well said!!! We all have different paths and get there at different times =) Happy 25th Birthday!!! =)


Keiko said...

Happy birthday, Meg! I hope it's magical. You make a beautiful 25. You are beautiful. "Now is the season to know that everything you do is sacred." -Hafiz

Jasmine said...

Happy happy birthday, Meg! :)

Anonymous said...

this is. beautiful! love it:)

Sunna said...

My favorite quote. Ever.

And you know what? It brings me joy that there are people in this world like you, like me, people who can hear their bones straining and feel the furious beauty of it all... Ah. I just meant to say: I love your writing.