They say 25 is quite the age. Truth be told, by age 25, you've been through a myriad of experiences, bullshit and crossroads, and you may finally feel like you're getting a grip on what it means to be an adult.
That being said, we're still learning. Because life is short, feeling unnecessarily damned for what we can't control is a humongous waste of our precious youth.
And so, on the dawning of my 25th birthday, here are seven facets of life I will no longer feel guilty about:
1. Having daddy issues
I won't even begin to touch upon the stigma attached to the countless women who harbor emotional issues that, unfortunately, happen to stem back to their fathers.
It's tried, true and frankly, a load of crap. We aren't all lucky enough to have dads who treat their little girls like the princesses they are throughout their entire lives. Some walk away, while others who probably should have lack the decency to do so.
Many of us deserve medals for what we've endured: deadbeats, addicts and egomaniacs, to name a few. Regardless of the situation, overwrought emotional pain has a tendency to leave behind wounds that take time to fade.
We're not all volatile, and we're not all looking to be saved, OK?
2. Holing up in my apartment all weekend
I pay a fuckload of money to live where I live. And honestly, sometimes after a taxing work week, I just want to chill on the couch and melt into my jailbroken Amazon Fire Stick for a full 48 hours.
I'll do my best to incorporate productivity into the mix somewhere. Maybe I'll do some meal prep, yoga or water my plants, but on the occasional lazy weekend, I've accepted less truly is more.
3. Offending people by speaking the truth
The older I get, the more I've come to realize high school was pretty timid in comparison to the real world. It's increasingly rare that you'll come across individuals who will tell you like it is, whether or not it's something you're keen on hearing.
More often than not, people will indulge you in pleasantries, and if it preserves their own self-interest in any way, they will jump at the opportunity to talk shit when you're not around. So, I'm choosing to do onto others as I would have others do onto me. For once, I will prioritize truth over the sensitivity of feelings and hope for the same in return.
4. Not knowing my "number"
I've spent a large portion of my late teens and early 20s keeping a close monitor on my number of sexual partners. After college, though, I sort of lost interest.
I've found that the amount of experiences you acquire throughout life and the level to which you care about pointless shit are directly related. Five? Ten? Fifty?
As long as you're protected, both physically and emotionally, it's all water under the bridge. So have fun, enjoy being a 20-something and worry about stuff that actually matters (like your rent payment).
5. Having a low-key social media presence
When I'm bored, I periodically find myself mindlessly trolling through my Instagram and/or Facebook feeds. It's easy to feel inadequate when you're constantly bombarding yourself with pseudo-models who base their existence solely on making others jealous. It's a magic show you never intended to attend where the tricks suck. Put down the phone and remember that life is about finding happiness, not manufacturing the illusion of it.
6. My less than perfect body
The reality is, if you're healthy, you should be happy regardless of how you look. Not everyone is afforded the luxury of top-tier health and would kill for love handles in exchange for the resolve of their chronic illness.
Value what you're blessed to have, and work with what your mama gave you. Again, and I can't reiterate this enough: Be content, not competitive.
7. A partner not finishing when having sex
When I originally wrote this, I said, "When I fail to get a guy off during sex." In hindsight, I realize how completely fucked that statement is.
If I'm brutally honest here, I orgasm maybe 10 percent of the time, and that statistic is 100 percent contingent on oral. In consulting my closest girlfriends, I'm happy (sort of) to learn I'm not entirely alone.
Sex has historically been geared toward the ultimate pleasure of men. Women were secondary.
But I vow I am absolutely, positively DONE with that sinking, initial feeling of guilt when my partner — on the rare occasion — can't seem to climax. More so, I am through believing I have any responsibility or blame in the matter.
My next mission? A sexual revolution that finally headlines women's pleasure. Check back with me by 30.