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How It Feels To Turn 25

I turned 25 on Sunday. It’s the silver age, I hear. Of quarter-life crises and self doubt/realization.  It’s the knowledge that I am older than my mother was when she had me. It’s the power that comes with approving of the choices I’ve made thus far.

I have no regrets. I have been incredibly stupid, and shied away from looking myself in the mirror. I have been surprisingly clever and written well-worded letters of commendation to myself in my diary. I have been deliriously happy and in love with the world. I have plumbed previously unknown depths of grief and prayed to die. And yet, right now, I have no regrets.

Through it all, I have written. In diaries, in notebooks scattered somewhere in my room, on this blog and on others’. And so it’s only fitting that I write on this occasion of turning 25.

But what to say?

I could reiterate everything I wrote when I turned 23, and it would all still be true. As would the words I wrote to 10 year old me. And yet, there are a few things I’d add.


Never be too busy growing up that you forget that your parents are getting old. I look at my Dad and sometimes feel that he will live forever. His quick wit and his sheer strength seem boundless; when I think of old people, I don’t include him. And yet. There are more greys, more lines, more wrinkles. His spectacle lenses are thicker. I catch myself feeling protective over him, like our roles have been reversed and this big, dark hulk of a man needs to be shielded from all wahala by me with my pixie-like dimensions. Not likely, really but the thought helps me in my interactions with him. I no longer sweat the small stuff like when I was a teen, and predictably our relationship has improved.

Done is better than perfect. Disregarding this, is one reason why I didn’t achieve my dream of writing my first book by age 25. (The other reason was indiscipline). The need for perfection is a dream-killer, and I discovered this too late. Even as I write this, a part of my soul balks. I am Osemhen, it must be perfect. Lol. Wishful thinking.

It’s okay to change your mind. I used to think that being true to myself meant that I never changed my mind once I’d made a decision. To change your mind = inconsistent, lacking integrity, being a wimp. This can be tricky, sha. For instance, if you’ve given your word, you should do your utmost best not to go back on it. On the other hand, there are mind-sets/attitudes that you evolve out of when more information is presented.

And these are the things that are great about being 25.

  • Being able to act like an adult without feeling like you’re playing Charades.
  • Being able to walk in heels ☺

It’s hard to explain but it feels like I’ve come into my own as a person. I’ve discovered/created myself and yes, it’s work in progress but it’s also a journey I’m very comfortable with. I’m happy with who I am. I’m not the 25-year-old I thought I’d be when I was say, 15. I’m not as selfless with my time as I’d like; I don’t think I volunteer enough or mentor younger people enough. But I’m more confident than I expected.

I made a few resolutions. The best part of having my birthday come around was the opportunity to take stock and reassess my life journey. There were a bunch of personal resolutions but the key one is to stop being afraid of writing.

Yes, I’m afraid.

I’m afraid I’ll start something and not finish it.

I’m afraid that I lack the right inspiration and so I’ll find the writing incredibly boring.

I’m afraid I’ll fail myself.

I’m afraid I’ll fail the people who read me (sometimes, I wonder what you guys like about my writing sef ☺).

I’m afraid I’ll write rubbish.

And so many times, it’s easier to not write and delude myself that I’m just too busy. Well, I’ve thrown that out of the window. I’m going to write, afraid or no, and you guys will just have to deal with the rubbish 😀

I look forward to making memories with my friends and family, and especially J’aime K. I look forward to more stories, and my novel. I’m curious about God’s plans for me and can’t wait to see them unfold.

For my birthday, I ask that you pray for me. And that you forgive my flaws, my vanity, my occasional shyness/indifference. Many thanks. And may lines fall for you too in pleasant places…


p.s. please stop by here to introduce yourself 🙂


  1. Just turned 25 recently and had similar tots like this but I didn’t write. So for the bravery to keep writing, well done. & yes, I will endure ur rubbish and criticize ’em too.

  2. 😀

    Happy birthday, again, dear…

    I’m 25 too, and i still haven’t figured out the heels part…
    … and the makeup…
    and the dress part too! :/

  3. hmmm…not even sure i can write this for myself,yet i might be joining the “greys” soon like your dad. nice piece,
    wish we could all be what we hoped to be when we where 15 yr..
    ..just thinking of it now,Damn that would have been something..guess i would have been the envy of Bill gates

    • I’d be sophisticated and elegant, exactly like all the women I’ve ever looked up to. I’d also be a wildly successful writer 😀

  4. Congrats Osemhen. I believe u are already a very good writer. Don’t make it seem we believe more in you than you do in urself..Brace up; U’l be so proud of urself!

  5. I thank God for all the years you’ve had and the ones yet to come. And I pray you’d come to see all your dreams come through, like your novel. May God bless you a lot. Have a happy and fulfilling 25th year.

  6. I relate with the stuff you wrote here. Especially your opening words. Yet, in my head I’m clinging tightly to 24 and hoping November takes its time coming. I don’t even know why.

  7. I enjoyed my 25th year. And my 15th year. I keep looking forward to my 35th lol. Osemhen is not narcissistic but she’s very introspective. Hian. Always looking at herself in the soul mirror. I like it because you catch most of your faults before others do so it helps you a lot. The downside is the perfectionist tendency you’ve already highlighted. When you talk about being undisciplined I just throw my head back and laugh. Still I want to be your friend cos a part of me loves improvement lol.

    Keep writing 🙂

  8. Happy birthday dear.

    You AMAZE me. With your intelligence. And self-awareness….

    It’s so ok to not wait for perfection. Oh it is. Good is better than ‘not done’.

    Its FINE to change your mind. You’ll have to remind others about this, more than yourself!

    I could go on…..but I won’t

    See you soon!

  9. CuriousShe says

    I loved it! Every bit of it. Thank you for choosing to write this.

  10. Mercy says

    Happy belated birthday dearie! You have indeed come into your own…You are beautiful inside and out….yes! do keep writing, you are damn good at it!

  11. I just discovered your blog through African Naturalistas. I must say you are an amazing writer. I’m not here to speak big grammar. I thought I was good, but reading blogs like yours make me want to hide somewhere.

    Happy belated birthday!

  12. Gabriela Love says

    Thanks for writing! I You have written most of what is on my mind lately. I turn 24 in 1 week and I am growing ever self conscious about turning 25. I am at a point of sheer explosion here! I have decided to make this year of 24 a year of insanely satisfying self improvements. I want to turn 25 and look back at the year 2014 and go, yes I have earned my 25th birthday! Although it is quite alright if I modify my goals as I move along.
    Right now, though I feel happy with my life and myself now, I also feel incredibly eerie; as if there is so much more I could have done and/or become.

    Anyway, here’s to dance classes, singing with complete strangers, actually saving, and a whole lot of other stuff!

  13. Not yet 25, but I’m getting there. I can relate though. On writing, like you I am afraid, but this year for the first time I entered short story competitions, and not local stuff too. I agree that done is better than perfect. I also used to think that my first choice would always be my final choice, it worked that way for a long time but that has changed as well. At the end of the day, I hope that by the time I am 25 I would be happy with my life so far. Happy belated Birthday from a complete stranger. 🙂

  14. Michelle says

    Funny how its almost a year you put this beautiful words into writing and I am just reading it. Well I have concluded that it is better late than never. I enjoyed everybit of the article all the way and it just reminds me of myself. More power to your elbow dear.

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