turning 25 is a big deal. the whole quarter-century of life thing knocks on your door and just like every other birthday, you have to let it in. it’s coming anyways.
and maybe that sounds like dread, but there isn’t any of that. if i had wasted days or let time drop down a sewage drain then maybe i’d be holding on to 24 with tightened fists, begging it to stay longer. but i can honestly say that i lived the heck out of 24. the days were lined up one-by-one and i cracked them into the sky like a series of golfballs. and to be honest?
i’m really proud of that.
living the heck out of it didn’t always mean that it was spectacular or that i wouldn’t have traded lives with someone in a really, really crap moment. i had those. i had loneliness and frustration and sometimes i wanted to go home or forget something of the past. but God required me to learn from those things and i tried. and the strength that He shelled into my hands from trudging through the hard stuff extended into all the really, really unbelievable days. and the same fight that you or i take to the bad, can be taken to the good.
and you choose to fill your life with big tales and surreal days and you choose to learn how to tackle a day down to the floor and fight for something good.
and that’s what i did.
i belted out “like a rolling stone” with bob dylan at his show and jumped around in time with hundreds of people to neil youngs “keep on rockin’ in the free world”. i literally stopped breathing in portland during ray lamontagne’s rendition of “imagine”, the day after obama was elected, and drank in the lyrics of ryan adams at his show in auckland.
i flew over mogadishu and istanbul and baghdad. tried surfing in the indian ocean, dipped into the pacific, sat by the south china sea. met surfers and aid workers and guitar players and dope smokers. i motorcycled solo from the bottom of bali to the top. got pulled over by the cops with lizzy and ben…in snoop dog’s neighborhood. read about God and hendrix and surfing in the 70s.
i went on the tea cup ride in disneyland. threw confetti in virginia streets on new years. stood on top of a sand dune in california and announced that i was going to conquer the world.
i go-carted with my dad and hit baseballs with adam and brionie. i stayed up all night with tim. me and emily both fell asleep at an iron & wine show. i missed my mom.
i backpacked the bottom of africa alone. saw a lion hunt. was surrounded by giraffes at sunset. watched dozens of elephants at the watering hole. i heckled at christmas day cockfights in indonesia. sang along to nirvana with some island locals. sang out weezer’s ‘buddy holly’ while cruising down a french highway at 4 am.
i ate a whole pizza on a door stoop in sydney, in the rain … on valentine’s day. i fell asleep in a hammock on the perhentian islands and was stopped in my tracks by picasso’s work at his museum in paris. i sandboard in jeffrey’s bay. i photographed. i wrote. i sat by the sea with no one in sight for miles and miles.
i stayed up till 8 am in france. had a strongbow in singapore. took a train ride to paris. jumped off tree forts in new zealand. got a tattoo. bungee-jumped. slept on the beach. drank too much espresso and ate too much gouda. fell asleep listening to muddy waters. walked through the red light district and the moulin rouge. went to jim morrison’s grave. held a baby sheep and a giant turtle. walked the zebra crossing at abbey road.
i started a journey around the whole world.
and it is in and amongst that journey, now in africa, that i celebrate becoming 25.
there’s a fresh line of shiny, new golfballs.