Dear Journal: When I Was 25…

IMG_1182Dear Journal,

I used to take more risks. My big excuse these days is, “I’m not 25 anymore,” as if being 25 was a magical time when nothing was impossible. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and when I was actually 25 I took one big risk, but one that paid off big time. Other than that I played it safe, I kept my head down, and I did what was expected of me.

When I was 25 I was starting over again from scratch, like a cake that needs to be given time before it can rise. But I was impatient, and I wanted what I wanted right then, and it didn’t matter who else was around, who else had opinions, because it was all about me. Maybe all 25-year olds are selfish, but it was a good selfish for me. It was a good selfish for the people around me too, even though I wasn’t thinking of them at the time.

When I was 25 I was living in Tennessee, waiting to write the “Great American Novel,” and hoping I was able to pass by Krispy Kreme without buying a dozen donuts. It was always difficult, that last part. Writing the Great American Novel was a given for me back then, even though I hadn’t ever written a novel before, because I had all kinds of self-esteem. I have absolutely no idea where it came from, but I should have hung on to it tighter.

But I’m not 25 anymore, as I like to say on occasion these days, which is both a good and a bad thing. Because 25 wasn’t even 25, not when seen through the hourglass of time gone by, that sand trickling down like rain drops. I haven’t taken a big risk in a while, but I’m older now, and risks were never all they were cracked up to be anyway.

Maybe I have one more big risk in me before I hit 40, or maybe I don’t, but I know I have to stop using “25” as an excuse to be stagnant now. Because even 25 wasn’t 25.


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