Last year, I wished myself Happy Birthday. I said I wanted to write a book, meet more people, acquire new skills. I'm currently working on two books (one for a friend). I've definitely made new friends this year and the "skills" (particularly cooking) are improving with practice. Yesterday I poached two eggs. Who poaches eggs? I do.
I'm very grateful to be turning 24 today. I've recently learned my 87-year-old grandmother on my mother's side is in the hospital. She's many miles away but my thoughts are with her. I try my best to be thankful for all the opportunities I've been given and not to feel entitled to anything, including health. Every Dollar, Euro, Rupee, Franc, Pound, Yuan etc. in the world is meaningless without health.
Your early twenties is a little like a freshman's first day of high school, everyone seems older, wiser, and that they know exactly what they're doing. Only, replace high school with life. It took time before I felt comfortable in high school. I tried hard to "fit in", I wanted people to like me, when I figured it out, I moved. College. Back to being the new guy. This keeps happening.
Here's the secret. The "rules" that everyone knows so well are fictitious. They're made up by other scared new kids in an attempt to provide structure to seemingly uncharted territory. Every time I've accomplished anything great, it's because I've dared to wander beyond the scope of my peers. The awesome thing about being the new guy is that nobody expects much from you. That's why it feels so good to surprise people by obliterating whatever mini preconceived boundaries they had for you.
Today I'll be going out to dinner with friends. I'll go to work. I'll brush my teeth. I'll do pretty normal, every-day, habitual things. But today, I'll also be celebrating being alive. I love birthdays for that reason. There's cake because we exist. How beautiful is that (especially the cake part).
23, it's been wonderful, but today, I'm 24.