today i turn 25. that’s one quarter of a century. i’ve lived through 4 presidents (5 if you include the last year reagan was in office) and one ugandan president (term limits? what term limits?). i’m now half-way between 20 and 30. i’m at an age where i need to start acting like an adult (granted, i said the same thing when i turned 24. and 23. and 22).
i’m usually the kind of person who hates team-building activities, ice-breakers, name games, etc. as i write this, i realize that blogging is something i should probably hate doing as well (i may try to tell people that i got one simply so i could “keep the people back home up to date”, however, that would only be a partial truth. i, in fact, love blogging). i wanted to sit down and write something funny and in-my-own-mind witty about turning 25. it’s a pretty big deal and i’m sure there are a lot of pop culture references and questionable/politically incorrect things (in the most douchey-manner possible) i could have thrown together to amuse myself and the 2 people who read my blog (that’s you, mom & asami). however, i couldn’t come up with anything. instead i started writing some introspective b.s. (the kind of crap that people used to write on their xanga blogs. i’m looking at you, asami :p)
one of those “feel-good” activities that i hate the most is that “writing a letter to your future self” malarkey. thus, i never really put a lot of thought into (and certainly didn’t bother to save them). today i really wish that i put some thought into one had saved it for myself. 25 is by no means very old, but my younger self couldn’t even imagine being 21, so 25 would have been ancient. since i don’t have any documentation of what my 12 year old self would have written to my present day self, i tried to recall where i thought i’d be (without letting what actually transpired effect the recollection).
if you had asked me what i’d be doing on my 25th birthday when i was younger, i would have said that i’d be mourning the loss of my youth. i’d probably say that my future self would be finishing up law school and getting ready to become one of those “evil” lawyers who makes a ton of money (i had a slight obsession with john grisham novels in my younger years- except i always wanted to be the bad lawyer who was getting rich, not the young lawyer with morals who gets caught up in the middle of something the bad lawyer is doing). i would have probably told you that i’d be planning for a june wedding to someone who is ridiculously more attractive than i am (being an evil lawyer with a lot of money has its perks). i would have told you that i’d be signing a lease on a brand new bmw (using the money from the bonus i got from signing with the law firm who represents big tobacco and chemical companies).
i would probably not have told you that i would have an msw instead of jd. i would not have told you that i’d be in uganda of all places (especially not doing something “meanful” like the peace corps- the peace corps is something hippies and do-gooders do). i would have not predicted that i’d be single and somehow content with it (although, let’s be honest, i wouldn’t turn away somebody who is ridiculously more attractive than i am. hit me up ladies, i’m the dude helping the little starving black hiv babies in africa). i probably would not have thought that instead of driving, i’d be relying on public taxis (i.e. toyota corollas packed with, not even joking, 8 to 15 foul-smelling individuals) and deathtrap buses (“oh, the window just spontaneously shattered and the bus is on fire. no big deal.”). i also would never have thought that i’d be wanting to car-free once i return to the states.
while i wouldn’t have predicted that i’d be where i am today, i am surprisingly content. i may not have always enjoyed my msw program, i do appreciate where it has lead me, and i recognize how it shaped me (even if it meant i was being shaped by disagreeing with what i was being taught). it was my msw that first lead me to uganda summer of 2010 for an internship. it was during that trip that i solidified my desire to do the peace corps and pursue a career in a international public health-esque arena (of course who knows if that’ll still be the case by the end of my two years here). i was fortunate enough to be placed back in uganda for peace corps.
my life here in uganda is pretty spectacular. it’s beautiful in the region where i live. there isn’t any snow (this is the first birthday i remember celebrating without snow). i have a great placement with nice co-workers. my house is pretty swank (i mean, aside from the lack of air conditioning and hot water, this place is nicer than any apartment i had in the states). i certainly miss the creature comforts (and my family and friends) back in america, but i feel like i’m in the right place now. it’s not always easy, but i know that this is where i’m supposed to be, because if i wasn’t, the cultural differences and lack of good food (and the multiple pooping myself incidents. and the dislocated knee. and the schisto) would be overwhelming.
i think the biggest thing that my younger self wouldn’t have even thought to predict is that i’d be content and happy with my life. while i’m sure that it’s possible that there are some evil lawyers with a bmw and a super-model wife, who are fulfilled, i know i wouldn’t be if i had ended up pursuing that path. it’s a good thing that i’m secretly a good person (and that i bombed the lsat). i’m extremely pleased that i’m satisfied with my life, and even more pleased with the fact that i value and recognize the importance enjoying what i’m doing.
i am now 25 (well, at least in uganda. i’m way too lazy and math-deficient to figure out exactly when i’ll turn 25 given the time difference and actual time of birth). it’s a pretty big birthday. the quarter-life birthday. i’ve always joked about hoping that my 25th birthday would be the half-way point in my life (i mean, really, life after 50 seems terribly dull. since my parents have both recently past that mark, i’ve began to realize that life after 50 doesn’t seem all that bad).
now, i can’t imagine only wanting to have 25 more years to live. i am fairly confident that i’ll still be happy and content with my life at 50 (perhaps even more so than i am now). by that time i’ll have no more student loans and will maybe be able to travel abroad and stay in places that cost more than $5 a night. perhaps i’ll even end up being one of those crazy “older” peace corps volunteers (god help me if i subject myself to the peace corps admin’s ridiculousness again), who come with money and, as griffin says, make it “rain”.
i now think 70 is where i’ll want to kick the bucket (i mean, after all, life after 70 seems terribly dull).