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25: the year to thrive

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I love birthdays.

I love the pomp and circumstance that surround the special day. I enjoy honoring a loved one, celebrating their accomplishments over the past year and I always love a good party. I’m often more excited on a friend’s or family member’s birthday than they are.

So when it comes to my own birthday, I don’t hold back. We joke in my family that my birthday isn’t one day. It’s at least a week of celebrations but usually it lasts the entire month of April. That’s especially since because it’s April 3, most people forget until they turn to the next month on their calendar.

I start planning what I want to do a solid six months in advance. Once we turn the corner on the new year in January, I’m already counting down the days.

My friends and family know how big of a deal I tend to make the day, so they always come through and make each year better than the last.

This year, however, I’m at a crossroads. I’ve already checked off a lot of symbolic ages, like 16, 18 and 21. But now I’m approaching 25 and I have mixed feelings about this milestone birthday.

I woke up one day recently and realized I’m nearly halfway done with my 20s. I started thinking about all that I’ve done in my life, focusing mainly on post-college graduation. For the most part, I’m pretty pleased with my accomplishments, but I do have a few areas where I hope to improve.

No one hands you your diploma and a road map to life. It’s up to you to figure it out and see what works, and learn from what doesn’t.

But really, I’m excited to turn 25. I’ve celebrated this milestone with a few friends already, and most of them were worried about their future and not looking forward to getting older.

And I understand. We no longer can rely on our parents to do everything for us, although that should have stopped years ago. But we are turning the corner into full-blown adulthood.

It’s intimidating.

But even more so, it’s exhilarating.

As someone who has been ambitious from a young age, I often was overlooked as naïve, inexperienced and green. I hated it.

So now, with this new age under my belt, I hope I’ll be able to come off as mature, established and wise. And I think with what I’ve learned, realized and accomplished over the past few years, I’ll succeed.

Being 25 is a wonderful place to be. You’re young but sensible, older but spirited and full of energy.

And if my parents are any indication of that in my future I will still be happy, the life of the party (honestly, my friends ask if my mom and dad are joining us at events because they’re that cool) and never too old for a Friday night dance party, then I’m ready for the next 25 years.

I was once told that I was “too peppy” and I’ll one day become jaded from working. Well, that day is not today. And I hope, but really don’t think, it’ll ever come. Being in the news business is not easy, but every day is worthwhile if we can help even one person in our community.

So cheers to birthdays, never losing the youthful spirit and always acting like I’m 25 even when I’m not. I can’t wait to see where the next 25 years take me.


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