A year ago, I asked a few friends what life was like for them at 25. The idea of the project was to ask 25 friends who’ve gone past 25 one specific moment in that period of their life, “a quarter of a century lived” as Fred said, which became strikingly deep and unforgettable. This is an unfinished project.
Jade, Darna at 25
“I was nursing a broken heart. I just got out of a really really bad relationship. And I almost died at twenty four, so I was living my second life at twenty five. I didn’t have a job then because I was finishing my Master’s. I was Darna at twenty five on Holloween.”
“I had no commitments but to explore. To know what’s out there. Throughout that period, that’s when I realized the difference between ambition and purpose, wherein ambition is just something from within. What you would’ve done for yourself. While purpose is something that was meant for you. Purpose doesn’t just have to be one thing. It can be many things. I’m still finding them out.
“I was working for a local newspaper and was editor-in-chief. I found myself smoking a lot because, you know, journalists are supposed to smoke. I remember editing one Friday, and I felt so fidgety. “Oh my God, I have to smoke.” So I went out of the office looking for a vendor selling cigarettes. I was about twenty meters away, and I just stopped. I told myself, “”Wait a second. This is wrong. I shouldn’t be looking for smokes. I should stop.” So I went back to the office. I think that’s why I never became a real smoker.
Hedi, The Year of Dancing
“I had a lot of girlfriends and we always had fun. During that time, we did a lot of jamming sessions – dancing and just having fun. Lovers? I can’t remember any, but there were always a lot of friends I could hang out with.”
Raz, Out of One’s Mold
“It was a transition phase for me. I was fresh from doing activism work. I conquered the fear of really taking myself out of the mould that I have molded myself into. And that was going to Bali to join a UN conference. I didn’t know anyone there. It was an intermix of people, mostly not in my generation.”
“I got married when I was twenty five. I met him at twenty five some time in September, and we got married in December. That was the very first time I’ve met someone who could actually memorize Paradise Lost. He recited it to me on our first night date, and that was it. I was hooked.”
Fred, The Summer of ’71
“At the end of my twenty fifth year, my first marriage was over. It was one quarter of my century lived. It was a milestone, so it was bittersweet. Marriage on the rocks. Business doing well at the expense of marriage. Definitely pain. One thing that milestone brought out is that I’m responsible for my choices in life.”