“Hello, it’s me.”
That’s a nod to the remarkable singer, Adele.
Today, Friday, November 20, 2015, is a Big Day for Adele fans.
Her third album, “25,” is available today.
For those of you who are not Adele fans, the title of the album is her age, and follows the title of her two previous albums “19” and “21.”
My 25-year-old daughter, Sara, is a huge fan and sent me a text when Adele announced the release of her album. She said, “MOM, I’m DYING! Look at what Adele posted on Twitter.”
“When I was 7,” Adele wrote, “I wanted to be 9. When I was 8, I wanted to be 12. When I turned 12, I just wanted to be 18…I’ve spent my whole life so far wishing it away. Always wishing I was older, wishing I was somewhere else, wishing I could remember and wishing I could forget too. Wishing I hadn’t ruined so many good things because I was scared or bored. Wishing I wasn’t so matter of fact all the time. Wishing I’d gotten to know my great grandmother more, and wishing I didn’t know myself so well…25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing…”
In a way, every age is about getting to know who we’ve become without realizing.
After reading Adele’s thoughts on being 25, I pulled out my journal from when I was 25, and discovered I too had done a lot of wishing – wishing I didn’t have to deal with awkward dating relationships and breakups, wishing I could get a better job, wishing I could fix one thing or another, wishing I knew more; and planning how to make all those wishes come true.
I also noticed that, in retrospect, I was probably doing better at 25 than I realized.
I asked Sara to write about life at 25 from her perspective. I think she’s probably doing better at 25 than she realizes too.
Sara at 25
First of all, my love for Adele runs deep.
When her album 21 was released, I was studying abroad in London and that album was all I listened to for about five months and many, many times after that — except for a brief time where I couldn’t bring myself to listen to her because the break-up themes stung a little too much.
And now as she’s releasing her album “25,” I’m just as thrilled as you might expect.
Of course, I downloaded her new song “Hello” and pre-ordered her new album before even getting out of bed on the day it was released.
As my mom and I have talked about reflecting on the age 25 – which is where I happen to currently be — I’ve tried to figure out exactly where I am in my life.
My personal 25-year-old checkpoint comes with some realizations, as I’m sure every age does. Here’s the wisdom I’ve gathered at 25:
- Always prepare if someone asks you to give a toast at their wedding. You’ll feel dumb and blush every time you think about it if you don’t.
- Always have something to look forward to. Personally, I like to have travel plans — but a nail appointment will do just fine.
- Speaking of nails, always have them done. You feel so much more pulled together.
- I take that back, while nails are important, well-groomed eyebrows are even more important. I’m making my next brow appointment right now.
- Avoid being consumed with other people’s problems. Other people’s hard things easily overwhelm me. I know that’s silly and it’s all out of love, but some perspective about your role in their things is important.
- We all need a person. Or multiple. Yes, this is a Grey’s Anatomy reference and it’s as true as it was when we hung up that saying in my college apartment four years ago.
- There is nothing wrong with enjoying silly things. I love TV shows and have no shame in that. I have been known to be a living and breathing IMDB (International Movie Database). Most especially my shows include Friends, Grey’s Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, and Law & Order: SVU. They relate to everything, just ask me.
- Speaking of, a true sign of friendship is loving the same TV shows.
- Life is supposed to be hard. Not in an “all consuming, suffocating” kind of way. More in an “it’s hard because it’s worth it” way. So accept the challenge. My mantra often is “Life is hard, and you can do hard things”.
- You save money for a reason. This is a lecture I often get from my dad because I hate using my savings. But it’s there to invest in your life (in a smart non-impulsive way of course)
- If you want people to celebrate your birthday, you have to make them. Provide the opportunity for people to spoil you and don’t have any shame about it.
- Being judgment-free makes you a better friend.
- Social Media is how you present yourself to the world. It may be silly, but it’s the way of the world so don’t post stupid things.
- All your skills are useful in their own way. Like when people text me to help them caption their Instagrams or to approve of their outfits, it’s something that’s important to them! I take the responsibility seriously.
- There really should be a “How to be an Adult” class so that you don’t have to Google things like “What’s the best way to wash your bedding or your bras?”
- The best way to read books is to buy them, and then write notes in the margins for your friends to read when they borrow them.
- Finally, there are two types of people in the world — those who put away their shopping carts and those who don’t. Be the kind that does.
While of course there are a million lessons I’m figuring out everyday, I think that at 25, a lot of them are lessons about myself.
Like Adele (heart eyes forever) says, “25 is about getting to know who I’ve become without realizing” and a big part of that for me is embracing the things that make me uniquely Sara.
Oh, and that’s Sara without an H, don’t you forget it!
Editor’s Note: Guess what Sara and Adele? I’m in my fifties, and life is STILL about figuring out who you, and who you’re becoming. It’s still also about not wishing everything away.
In fact, an odd thing happens at a 50-plus checkpoint. You realize you’re a little more comfortable with yourself in some ways; and a little less comfortable in other ways. But, just like at 25, you’re still basically figuring it out a day-at-a-time.
And, for me, I realized after reading my journals that most of what I dreamed about at 25 came my way. I got better jobs, found the forever marriage relationship I wanted, deepened many of the friendships I had then, and held on to some of the lessons learned.
So, Sara and Adele, in all your wishing, keep learning the lessons of life and soak up 25.
Look in the mirror today and say, “Hello. It’s me.”
And relish 25.