21 days to 25.
Confused? Let me explain.
It’s my birthday in 21 days; three weeks to be precise.
On May 10, I will turn 25 years old.
Yes, I will officially be a quarter of a century old. I will also enter my mid-twenties.
I’m both thrilled and horrified.
When I look back at the years gone by, especially the last decade, I keep wondering whether things could have turned out differently.
Could I have found my dream job? Could I have earned more? Could I have been healthier? Could I have been happier?
Well, there are plenty of ‘Could I’ and ‘What Ifs’ to last a lifetime.
What you should remember though is that you must always keep moving forward.
Our lives are a never ending journey filled with many terrible, great and okay moments. It’s a privilege to be on this journey, in spite of the numerous hurdles and heartbreaks in between.
While I’m uneasy about still being unemployed, I’m excited about starting a brand new year in my (somewhat) young life.
If I’m honest with myself, I wouldn’t change a single thing. All the roads I chose made me the woman I am today – strong, vulnerable, capable, fearful, persistent, indignant, loving and passionate with a twinge of regret.
I guess that’s what life is; a series of contradictions, a large grey maze.
And guess what?
I love myself exactly the way I am.
Happy on some days, upset on most, but always standing strong.
With my milestone birthday around the corner, I put together a tiny wish list for myself. I’m secretly hoping that all these miraculously happen or arrive at my doorstep.
A girl can always dream, can’t she?
My 25th Birthday Wish List:-
- Donate blood: For most of my adult life, I’ve not had a healthy haemoglobin count. It used to be below 12 all the time and I couldn’t donate blood even if I wanted to. Recently, thanks to a better diet, some exercise and quite a bit of iron supplements, I finally have a blood count of 12.5. Thus, I want to donate blood this year and do my tiny bit towards (hopefully) saving a life.
- Get a tattoo: I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression a lot this past year. During this time, I found a lot of strength and healing when I learnt about the semicolon project. In fact I wrote about this in a post called My Unfinished Story. So, as a way to remind myself that I’m strong and can get through those difficult moments, I want to get a semicolon tattoo. Before I get this though, I’d like to donate blood; at least twice. So, I may have to push this wish aside for a while, but that’s cool.
- Receive Handwritten Letters: During my stay in Mumbai, my friend Pankaj and I wrote a few letters to each other. I absolutely loved every bit of that process. There’s some intimacy involved in actually sitting down, handwriting a letter to someone and then mailing it to them via snail mail. There’s a sort of ethereal, nostalgic beauty in it. Therefore, I’m hoping my close friends and family will (maybe) send me a handwritten letter for this birthday; something I can save in a memory box and look back on over the years.
- Personalised Stationery: I’m an absolute sucker for stationery, notebooks and diaries. Post-it notes, highlighters, sticky notes, pencils, fountain pens – I love them. I’ve been meaning to start work on a journal sometime in the near future. I even found a few notebooks/diaries online that I’d kill to have. They can all be personalised too.
Is there anything better than a notebook with your name inscribed on it? Maybe, but I prefer personalised stationery. Here is an organiser and notebook that I have my eye on:
5. Books: I personally have a goal of reading at least two books every month in 2017. I’m a bit behind on my goal, but I’m pushing forward and trying to read more. In fact, I just finished two lovely books last month. They were ‘Leadership and Self-Deception’ by the Arbinger Institute and ‘Love, Loss & What We Ate’ by Padma Lakshmi. Both these books had a massive impact on me. They made me think, laugh, cry and scream ‘Hallelujah!’
I’m also on a bit of a mission to read more feminist literature this year. I want to read books that will not only educate me, but also empower me.
Some of the books on my wish list include:
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler
And Still I Rise by Maya Angelou
Mom & Me & Mom by Maya Angelou
Self-Help by Lorrie Moore
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estes
In case you were wondering, I have included a few books from Emma Watson’s book club, ‘Our Shared Shelf.’ A big part of my read more feminist literature mission.
- Polaroid Camera: I have been obsessed with getting a polaroid camera for quite some time. It’s always been at the back of my mind, but I’ve just not been able to acquire one. I’m an amateur photographer and I love holding actual prints of photographs. There’s something very comforting about this. I hope I can manage to save enough money to get my hands on this beauty.
I came across one on Amazon and I quite liked it.
- The Body Shop Gift Basket: Over the last seven years, I have walked in and out of multiple Body Shop stores in various malls across Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai. I have lusted after their products for ages. I’ve ogled at their body washes, mists and lip balms. It would be a dream come true to get a body shop gift basket. It’s almost like having a mini-spa gifted to you. Dreams, dreams and more dreams.
For now, I’m lusting (unrealistically) after this strawberry based gift basket.
So that’s my wish list.
In comparison to all my previous wish lists, this one is smaller in length. Surprisingly, I’m glad. Sometimes, the essentials are all that matter.
And who knows, maybe all you need on your birthday is a good book, a bunch of close friends, some good music, a few munchies and a little quality time together.
I guess I’m finally growing up.
You’re starting to realize that everything you ever thought you wanted isn’t exactly what you really want. ~ Unknown