Today is my birthday. I am 25 years old. For some reason, it doesn’t feel real to me. As if today is someone’s 25th birthday, but not mine. Like a, “Sorry, you have the wrong number” situation.
But it is my birthday. And as I get older, it feels like the years go by faster. Is that how it is for everyone? Because I swear I just turned ten years old the other day.
I was born on Labour Day Monday. I guess you could say that puns have been apart of who I am since day one. That’s what I say, at least.
Aging is weird when you think about it.
I’ve been alive for 25 years, but I don’t remember the first four years of my existence. Those years are a rumour. A myth, if you will. If I didn’t know any better, I would just assume that everyone enters the world as a 4-year-old ready to take on the rigours of kindergarten.
I almost feel ripped off. I’m a 25-year-old with only 21 years of memories. Maybe it’s better this way. I probably don’t want to remember the diaper days. They seem uncomfortable.
What’s also weird to me is the fact that we stare at ourselves in the mirror every single day, yet never catch ourselves growing up.
I’ve gone from a kid who couldn’t see over the counter in the washroom without a stool, to an adult with facial hair that I’m too lazy to shave on a regular basis.
And it all happened right in front of my eyes. How? How did I grow up and not notice? When did my hands get bigger? Has this hair on my arm always been there? Is there still a quarter behind my ear?
I don’t have answers to any of these questions.
I’ve grown up in a world where it’s impossible not to compare myself to others. It all started in school when everyone got their test scores back. “What did you get?” echoed around the classroom, until everyone found out where they stood in the unofficial class power rankings.
We can read the statement, “Don’t compare yourself to others” all we want, but we will still do it. The key is to not let the results of the comparison bother us.
I am not the 25-year-old who knows what they want to do with their life.
I am not the 25-year-old who is married and has kids.
I am not the 25-year-old who is travelling the world.
I am not the 25-year-old who is posting too many obnoxious pictures of themselves and their girlfriend on social media.
I am not the 25-year-old who has everything figured out.
I am far from those things, yet I’m surrounded by people my age, and younger, who are those things. Does that bother me? I don’t know. Depends on the day.
If I were to look back on my life, I see all the good things that have happened to me and how most of them came about unexpectedly.
We have all gone to sleep at night while playing out fictional scenarios in our head and never seeing any of them come to fruition.
God has blessed me with a life full of things that I never knew I wanted, or liked. If I’m being honest, I never really planned anything. Things have just happened. I can’t really explain it.
There are two quotes that could possibly sum up my life.
The first one being: “Good things happen all the time. Great things happen unexpectedly.” I think I created that quote.
The second one is: “When you know, you know.” I think everyone created that quote.
For me, I’ve never known what I’m looking for, whether it’s a job, a university program, or a pair of shoes. But when I see it, I know within two seconds that it’s meant for me.
I had never heard of Sport Management before. But when I saw that it was a program that existed, I knew it was for me. I knew where I wanted to go to university before my heart could complete a beat.
Never in a million years did I ever think I would’ve worked at a camp. But the second I saw the job posting, I immediately knew that’s where I had to go. Crazy.
When I did an internship during the summer before 4th year, I knew the moment I read the first two lines of the job post that I was getting the job. There was never an ounce of doubt. I wasn’t nervous for the interview. I wasn’t concerned that there were six candidates for the job. I just knew that I would ultimately get it.
So when people want to talk about everyone having a path in life and “God’s plan”, yeah, I believe it. Because my life is proof of it.
That’s not to say I didn’t have to put myself in certain situations and work for what I got. It just feels like everything I’ve done has prepared me for something else, something I never even imagined.
I also try not to look too far ahead. This whole “5 year plan” and “10 year plan” is nonsense to me. Poppycock, even. I don’t know where I’m going to be next week, how am I supposed to know where I’ll be in 5 years?
The only thing I’ve thought about that I want in life is to be 70 years old and sitting on the porch with my wife watching the sun go down.
Yeah, I just got really cheesy.
Because I know if I can get to that moment, then all the years between now and then will have worked themselves out the way they were supposed to.
So, even though I am 25 years old and have no clue where I’m headed in life, I know I’ll eventually end up somewhere and that “somewhere” is exactly where I’m meant to be.
I admit, sometimes it’s scary and discouraging to see people younger than me so far ahead of where I am in life. But I was never the fastest runner in gym class and still made it to the finish line just the same.
I’ll be fine.
I’m halfway to fifty, but for right now, I’m just a day older than yesterday.
Scratch that, I’m 8 years old. Who wants to build a blanket fort and spin in circles until we’re dizzy?