25 – A Look Back in Time
"In my usual fashion I've spent the past week reflecting on my life up to this point, contemplating my personal growth, and wondering if I've changed enough to tackle this next year of life."
Hi. This is me...
... In case you're stumbling across this post and don't know who I am. Today, I am turning 25 years old. The big two-five. That makes me a Pisces; I read something recently that said a Pisces' 25th year of life is one of their lucky years! Who knows if that's true, but what's wrong with a little blind faith?
In my usual fashion I've spent the past week reflecting on my life up to this point, contemplating my personal growth, and wondering if I've changed enough to tackle this next year of life.
It's really crazy actually how quickly (and not quickly) the years seem to have passed! I swear it was just last year that I was still that little kid running around my house listening to Hannah Montana, singing as loud as I could and probably annoying my parents. It just doesn't seem real that that same kid has grown into a 25 year old, now running around life, screaming into the abyss about how he has no clue what he's doing.
Yeah, that's life now.
What's more bizarre is that I can tell I'm already falling out of the loop of social media and my understanding of "trendy topics" is becoming extremely limited (I mean, come on, I'm still saying 'yeet'). Although, I think I'd classify that as a move in the right direction.
I spent most of this week trying to decide on how I would celebrate my birthday and instead of settling on one of those "25 things I learned in 25 years" Buzzfeed style posts, I decided we would take a trip down memory lane together! However, I'm absolutely horrid at remembering anything, but pictures always seem to bring out an emotion or piece together a scene!
So, today I'm going to share with all of you a few of my favorite pictures from the past 25 years:
You want proof aliens exist? Just take a look at this picture.
But seriously, alien-likeness aside, this is a cute picture of me and my Grandpa! I can't decide what I love more: my floppy ears or the fact that I only have two front teeth and two bottom teeth.
This is just a huge reminder to everyone that I was super (and I mean super) adorable in elementary school. It all goes down hill from here though...
I mean, come on. I was setting fashion trends faster than Anna Wintour could keep up with which is exactly why you won't find me in any magazines... (But for real, I miss the days where I could lounge around in my underwear with a paper bag on my head – Sigh. Simpler times.)
Remember what I said earlier about Hannah Montana? This was my attempt at looking like a pop star – I was really embodying the lyrics "I could fix the flat on your car / I might even be a rock star".
The hat is pretty on point for early 2000's however, I have no idea what I was thinking with the bandanas. And the hometown shirt really just keeps the whole look humble.
I'm pretty sure this was taken during a trip to Florida so you could call me the first "Florida Man".
A classic picture - just a family hanging out on a couch. I love the expression on my little brother's face, it just screams let's get this over with so I can run around like maniac. And I clearly have no idea what's going. Hm. Not much has changed!
Two things – One: wow, I don't remember being this tan as a kid! Two: Ben Stiller, I'll take my check.
Now this is just too cute! This backyard belongs to my Grandparents and is the backdrop of so many family pictures. You'll find us lining up every year for some holiday photos!
This was taken after being "promoted" from 8th grade to 9th grade and if you can't tell, I'm overwhelmed with excitement.
I remember this being a scary transition in life. High schoolers seemed like full blown adults and that terrified me. But what was even more worrying was the idea of peer pressure. I seriously thought my life would play out like some movie and I would be pressured into doing drugs, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and become a good-for-nothing delinquent. Thankfully, none of that happened! My paranoid brain was just doing its thing.
This is a perfect example of a memory I should probably be able to recall but I really don't have any idea when this picture was taken. I know it was before a school dance and I'm pretty sure it was my senior year because I look too old for it to be any earlier.
Also, I'd like to note that high school was when I lost all of my childhood chubbiness! I ran cross country and track during high school and that really helped me slim down. Running is still one of my favorite things to do not just as exercise, but as a way to get lost in thought.
The promised day (high school graduation) came around and I was finally free! However, the next scariest, much larger transition of my life was on the horizon: College.
This is one of the first posts I made to Instagram after starting college and is the only one I will share today because they are just too painfully cringe worthy. The filters, the captions, the collages – Ugh. It's all too much to look at.
One of the most rewarding and exciting moments of my life so far – buying my very first car! My aunt and uncle helped me find this beauty during my junior year of college. I'm still driving her currently and even though she's faced some rocky road, she's still holding together!
This picture is just so heartwarming to me. When my family would come to visit me during college we would always go out to eat at The Old Spaghetti Factory. Well, Applebee's actually used to be our go-to spot – until I went vegan... There's a lot of good food and memories in that restaurant!
Ah, yes – The day I came out to the world. By far one of the most terrifying days ever but thankfully I was met with a bunch of love and compassion! I wouldn't give up that moment for the world. This was the day I truly began learning how to love all aspects of myself. More importantly, it's also the day I (finally) started dating!
College graduation with my lovely Grandparents! It's so crazy looking at this picture and comparing it to the earlier ones... Time certainly does change you!
Taking pictures and looking all fancy for our graduation!
This was a huge turning point in my life. As the end of college approached, I quickly realized I had no idea what comes after college. My life had pretty much been go-with-the-flow until my senior year of college when I decided I wasn't on a path that was going to make me happy. After learning to trust in myself I realized I was completely capable of doing whatever I want to do!
Year after year, I get a little more gay – and I love that! In the past few years I've met some amazing people who have helped me become much more comfortable with my sexuality.
I went to my first Portland Pride in 2019 and look forward to the next Pride event once it's safe again! (Also, feel free to ignore my oddly shaped toes.)
I absolutely have to include a picture of my best friend who I've known since I was a toddler. Ellie and I have been in each other's lives for so long and we've both been through so much together, it wouldn't be right to not acknowledge her.
From all the holidays our families spent together, to the late nights doing absolutely nothing, to learning how to be adults – we've been through it all!
Now I'm lucky enough to call her my neighbor!
And here we are, present day! This was taken roughly a week ago while I was gallivanting in the snow. Not much has changed on the surface in the past few years however, deep inside, there have been monumental changes taking place. I'm more self-assured, self-loving, and self-motivated than ever before – I'm more than capable of handling the next year ahead of me!
Well – that trip was wackier than an episode of WandaVision!
In all seriousness, it was very nostalgic to look back at the person I used to be and see just how much I've changed. Personal growth can easily go unnoticed to yourself but looking at your past self through photos is a nice reminder of how you've changed in the last ten years, five years, or even in the last year alone – just like looking at weight loss pictures!
There's certainly a part of me that wishes I'd stop aging so I could spend as much time as I want doing everything I could ever dream of, but I think that might make life less special. Although it's impossible to keep myself from aging, pictures provide a way of capturing all of our happiest moments to relive over and over again, keeping us alive for forever.
So, lesson of the day: take pictures of everything and anything! Capture the moment so you can look back one day and smile when you need it.
In conclusion, today I am a 25 year old stepping into another year of life; a life I am happy to be living.
I hope you enjoyed taking this trip down memory lane with me! Big thank you to my Grandma and Mom who found most of these pictures (and more)! I think I might even go old school and start scrapbooking now to save all my favorite memories.
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