Yesterday I turned twenty-five. I’ve been here a quarter of a century and lived to tell the tale. I have been a daughter, a musician, a friend, a partner, a slacker, an athlete, a fashion student, a sales associate, an English major, an editor, a freelancer, and a graduate with honors. Now I am a poet, a writer, a coffee drinker, a cat mother, a blogger, and a copywriter. The list goes on, and luckily it will continue to develop.

At twenty-five, I feel I’ve failed in many ways. I’ve wasted time. I’ve wasted money. I’ve lost friends. I’ve been a flake. At times I’ve said too much and others too little. I’ve broken promises. I’ve started projects and then abandoned them. I have also triumphed. I have written stories, essays, and poems that I am proud to call my creative work. I’ve gained new friends. I’ve read amazing literature that excited something deep within me. I’ve cried because a song or a sonata was too beautiful. I have traveled to Japan and China and France. I have lived many lives in these twenty-five years and, unfulfilled, I intend to live many more.

I am content with feeling unfulfilled because it means that I will continue to grow. It means that there is more to see, to do, to achieve. I will keep reading books that expand my capacity for empathy. I will keep traveling to distant locales that broaden my understanding of the world’s diversity. I will make good choices and I will make bad ones. I will make many more mistakes. I will learn from them. I will continue to appreciate change, despite the tough transitions it brings. I’m twenty-five and I hope that at thirty and thirty-five and forty I am someone different, someone smarter and funnier, someone who can focus on the goals that she sets for herself, someone with her own definition of happiness and success. I hope that, at fifty, I am well-acquainted with wisdom and humility and still intimate friends with the curiosity and creative fire that fuel me today.