A quarter-century

Our version of the Golden Girls

So I am now 25 years old, with not much to my name except a dead-end job in a politically-driven company in a universally-regressing country. It’s not quite the desired lot in life I would have wanted at the age of 25, but fortunately I am now old enough to look at the big picture and accept that my lot in life may never be quite what I had hoped for it to be, but I have what matters most to me to help me get through it all.

When I think back to my most recent birthdays, it amazes me how much has changed with every year I add to my life. At 21, I was happy to be legally and officially an adult, with the keys to my own life and not much to think about besides passing my classes and buying my own alcohol. At 22, I was relieved to have finally finished school, and ready to take on a new job and build the life I had dreamed of — one where I could be completely on my own, independent and free of all the drama I had been entangled in for too long. When I turned 23, I was alone and preparing myself for a huge transition in my life, and preparing to give up everything I had been fighting for over the last four years. And last year, at 24, I was alone all over again, save for my best friend who couldn’t do much to prevent me from doing any more damage to myself than I already had. This year, for the first time in years, I wasn’t alone on my birthday, and I realized that that had been all I ever wanted — not to be alone when the reality of life hit me harder than it did on most days, when I wanted to look around and tell myself that despite the circumstances of my life, I had not lost everything.

It doesn’t matter that I was stuffed quite unceremoniously into a dress and taken to dinner in a place that resembled a different world altogether (a.k.a. Tamarind Springs, in an entirely alien part of town known as Ampang), that I rang in midnight at Telawi Street Bistro amidst a haze of vodka and wine, or that I had a hearty breakfast at Alexis or a big seafood dinner, all in the last 24 hours. All that matters is that, for the first time in years, I was able to be among the people I love most on a day as insignificant as any other day.

Like last year, I’m not where I thought I would be at 25, but I’m glad to be where I am now.

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