I turn 25 in six weeks, three days and 14 hours.

Someone: “OMG, your 25th birthday is coming up! Are you excited?!?!”

What I respond: “25, EEK! I can’t believe I’m turning 25. I wish I could be 19 forever,” as I politely smile to cover up the fact that I’m bursting with feelings.

What I really want to say: “Well… Not going to lie and say I’m excited, but I’m not sobbing at the thought either. Remember when you were little and you imagined yourself at a certain age? You had huge plans for yourself at 6 years old. Plans to do things you had no clue about. When I was 6 I knew I wanted to ace my exams and get into a great Catholic high school, then a great college and major in something creative so I could have my own office in a big building downtown. I’d wear fabulous outfits and actually do something I loved every day. I’d be married by 24 and have kids by 27 - I thought the years between 24 and 27 would be sufficient enough to enjoy my husband before starting a family.

No…I kid you not. This is what I really thought.

Yeah, thanks. I appreciate the encouragement, but I’m not where I thought I’d be six weeks and three days before 25. But I guess you have to be grateful for the things you do have. I have a job that pays the bills, a family that supports me, a bunch of friends that take me on crazy journeys, and a drive. That’s what’s important, right? I can’t lose that. I can’t lose my drive because then I’ll be stuck singing these same blues 6 weeks and 3 days before my 30th birthday. I’m learning to accept fear as a catapult for my future. I see people paralyzed by fear everyday, or worse, complacency. I don’t want to join the morons sitting at home, guiltily watching DeVry commercials as they scarf down some take out. Like, “Shit, maybe I shoulda, coulda, woulda…” No. I want to continue to do something with myself outside of my 9 to 5.

I don’t want to be comfortable or complacent. I want fear. I want to fear the future. I want to worry about what I’ll look like or be doing five or ten years from now. I want to use the 17 night creams and firming lotions I have stashed to prevent wrinkles. I want to update my resume with every single project I get involved in. I want to eat healthy and workout, and not just because its “in” to be fit. I want to be picky about men. Did you just marry your husband because he was cute? It’s terrifying and amazing all at the same time. I guess you just have to embrace it. Anyway, wanna go out for lunch?

An ode to fear and being fearless.