To The Girl Approaching Her 25th Birthday

You feel like your life is escaping you, like your best years are falling far behind you. You look back at the dreams your childhood self longed to bring to fruition and feel like you’ll forever remain short of your expectations. You believe that you’re running out of time to build the life of your dreams, constantly worried that you’ll be stuck in your studio apartment, working a dead-end job and living without fulfilling romantic prospects for the rest of your life.

But beautiful girl, your mind is still young and it’s deceiving you. The woman you are at 25 doesn’t dictate the woman you’ll be at 30, 35, or 40. The woman you are now, on the cusp of your 25th birthday, is powerful beyond belief.

You are not running out of time to live your best life. Despite your near-constant quarter-life crises and your fear that life will pass you by, now is a golden opportunity to recognize just how much life you have to fill. You still have plenty of time to discover what you really want to do, to settle into a career that sets your heart on fire. Your adventurous spirit will still lead you around the world many times over before you die. You will find someone who puts you first, devoting their heart to you forevermore as if you are the only woman on Earth. And no matter when each step of your journey plays out, you have years to grow into the woman you’ve dreamt of becoming.

You are not too old to enjoy life. You may lust after your college years, wishing you weren’t tied down with work and bills galore, but you still have the capacity for tremendous joy. You’ll develop deeper, more authentic friendships, finally finding the women who will laugh and cry alongside you and love you unconditionally. You’ll learn to appreciate every moment of simple bliss—the morning sunshine, the kindness of strangers, the breath that reminds you of the precious life you live. You’ll discover that even your 25th year of life can bring you great happiness, that you still possess the youthful joy you’ve always held dear. And no matter what the next year brings, you’ll learn to savor the joy, even in the wake of pain.

You are not old enough to give up on yourself. You may believe that you have failed at everything you hold dear, but you have the power to pave the way for success. You are old enough to be taken seriously but still young enough to spark change, both in your own life and in the world. You may feel directionless, but your heart is both wild and wise, steering you towards the paths that will delight and fulfill you, even if you doubt your intuition now. And no matter where you’ve been, you’ll discover that your journey is far from over as long as you keep your heart open to a world of possibilities.

You worry that your 25th birthday marks the end of everything you know and the beginning of your deepest fears. But beautiful girl, you still have time to forge the life of your dreams—a life full of love, adventure, and personal fulfillment—because your life begins at 25.

About the author

Kelly Douglas

Lives for red lipstick, high heels, 80’s pop, cats, and Oxford commas.