One hour and 21 minutes until my birthday, the big(ish) twenty-five! A quarter of a century chillin’ on planet earth. At times like these I tend to study the vault of ever-expanding memories residing in the old noggin. The same questions always tend to surface: what has been seen, achieved, experienced? And most importantly, how was it all experienced?
For the last few years I have looked back at my life and seen anxiety. A tightened chest and obsessive thoughts filling up cracks of time that could have been lived better. In Senegal, I watched myself sleeping my days away in my room. I looked back at college, missing many activities and events to curl up on a friend’s coach. I even saw myself in Guadeloupe, staying in my apartment while my roommate soaked up the beautiful Caribbean sun on the beach.
Memories tainted with the nagging comparison of my less than ideal life to those superior ones which had surrounded mine. My wonderful friends who appeared to take all the chances life gave them; oh the ridiculously cool stories they acquired.
But here’s the thing I’ve recently come to terms with. I may not have had “perfect” experiences- whatever that magical entity would have entailed. But I have fallen in love with West Africa, had a socially and intellectually stimulating college experience and one hell of a good time swimming in the ocean and hiking the rainforests of Guadeloupe. Not too shabby for an almost twenty-five year old, huh?
So now, how will I experience Mongolia? Currently, I’m cuddled up on my sleeping bag, alone in my beautiful ger. I’ve eaten some tasty leftovers from last night and allowed myself to binge on arguably the best peanut butter cups in existence. Tomorrow I will sing karaoke with my Mongolian English teachers. This weekend I will visit Ulaanbaatar and celebrate with friends. Then I will continue living my life in Mongolia. I’m fairly certain these memories in the making will live up to anyone’s standards… even mine.