Yesterday, I had my first birthday away from my family & friends.
I’ve officially reached 25 years old. Although a relatively meaningless age, I think I’ve put more symbolism into it than most. It’s officially your middle twenties, halfway to fifty, a quarter of a century. It seems the first official “mature” birthday. I’m getting older now, more a true “adult” than a “young adult.” Which, I still question when I’m going to feel like that transition has been made.
So I took the day to appreciate where I’m at in my life, and the symbolism behind it all. Every aspect of my life has already changed this year, but for the better. I’m finding myself & taking the chances most are too afraid to do. I’m away from everyone who means something to me. I’m in a new city, a new job, around all new people. But I have so many new opportunities and new adventures ahead of me. And I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it.
I came up with the idea to go hiking for my birthday several days before; I had originally anticipated spending the day in the woods by myself, symbolic of this new adventure alone. But then a new friend offered to be my hiking buddy if I wanted, verbally giving me the option to say no. And at first I was hesitant, I felt I was giving away the symbolism of the day alone. But it wasn’t like that, in fact it was something different entirely.
I spent my 25th birthday at Wallace Falls State Park with a new friend of mine, another traveling nurse new to Seattle. We made the hour commute both ways & a three hour hike without it ever feeling awkward. Just like that, we’re friends & going to explore Seattle together the next few months. It’s amazing the opportunities and people that this career choice has, and will continue to, put into my life.
Wallace Falls was one of few trails within a short driving distance that didn’t involve microspikes for snow and ice. Which even then, the last half mile of the trail to the upper falls was purely packed snow and slippery. It’s a moderate hike of 5.6mi roundtrip and only 1300′ elevation gain, that showcases 9 different waterfalls. It was enjoyable at each section of the falls and especially the valley overlook with the Olympic Mountains in the background. A popular day hike definitely worthy of a birthday adventure in March.
Conveniently right when I was at the top of the upper falls, my niece & nephews facetimed me. Although Remi claimed “the waterfall’s not that big,” I was able to share a piece of my day with my favorite kids.
My mom shared a happy birthday post for me, on literally every form of social media. I had messages in my group chat with my best friends waiting for me when I woke up. My phone was constantly buzzing with family and friends reaching out to wish me a great day, and see how I’m doing. Then I got home, and found a bouquet of flowers & a card from my dad and stepmom.
I’m not alone.
My birthday was a great day; I spent it outdoors with a new friend while constantly being reminded of those I love the most back home. Then I got to take a nap afterwards.
So here’s to this new year, it’s going to be great. 🙂