So my 25th birthday was on Monday. Coming up to the big day, I had been pretty worried. It felt a bit scary and I had had all these lofty ideas about my future that hadn’t ever materialized. (I was supposed to be living in Brooklyn by now!)

Because I was so worried, I didn’t actually plan any specific event to celebrate my birthday. And in the end, I’m glad I didn’t. Things ended up coming together and over the course of several days, I pretty much got to see and do a lot of things I would’ve ended up having to plan myself. All in all—a very good birthday!

That brings me to my final point: birthdays are more deadlines than holidays. At work on Monday, a friend said I should’ve taken the day off from work seeing how it was my birthday. Sure, that would have been nice, but I didn’t really need to. Twenty-five was hard enough, and spending a whole day thinking about it was not my idea of fun. Though I didn’t finish my list of things to do before turning 25, I’ve definitely come to terms with the age and can’t wait to turn 26 in a foreign country (right now according to my plan, it should be Australia).

Here’s what I did and didn’t do by my birthday:

  1. Hang curtains in your bedroom.
  2. Become friends with someone you meet in unusual circumstances.
  3. Make your own Halloween costume.
  4. Go to a concert/movie/restaurant alone.
  5. Open a Roth-IRA account.
  6. Own stock in a company you believe in.
  7. Read The Iliad.
  8. Start a blog.
  9. Join a professional organization.
  10. Go on a spur-of-the-moment, weekend trip to a foreign city.
  11. Attend a poetry reading.
  12. Go to a music festival.
  13. Learn to dance.
  14. Take a road trip with friends.
  15. Get paid to do something you like.
  16. Do some sort of adventure/adrenaline activity.
  17. Take a course on something you’re interested in.
  18. Regularly read a newspaper/magazine/blog.
  19. Be recognized for something or at somewhere.
  20. Have business cards.
  21. Cook dinner for a friend.
  22. Win something. Big or small.
  23. Start a new hobby after college.
  24. Pick up the tab for no good reason.
  25. Be irresponsible. It’s allowed sometimes.

I’m pretty much happy with how it turned out. (Disclaimer: I did make this list purposefully with things on it that I had done, with full intention of being able to cross them off my list today. I plan on making an extensive “bucket list” in the near future, however, which I don’t plan on stacking the deck.)

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