I turn 25-years-old next week. According to my friends who are older than me, apparently this marks some kind-of-significant point in my life. So far, the only thing I’ve noticed is that my knees now ache when it’s really cold outside and my days of running 10 miles without stretching or properly eating are completely over.
But, as I thought about the creation of this blog, the friendship and incredible bond I share with these two women (for about about 6 years now– holy moly!) I thought about turning 25 in a different way. I didn’t think about the events of the past year or what phase of Alex I would like to embrace for the year of 25, but I thought about the things that have shaped me and have lead me to befriend and become so close to these two girls– stories, books, writing, and reading.
It started with one book in the 6th grade and from there I never stopped reading. And from that one book I thought to myself, “Huh, maybe I could do that to.” I wrote my first poem that was good enough to get hung on the classroom wall. Some more books in the 7th grade and a few more stories and teachers were asking me if I wanted to go to the Art Academy for writing. A few more books, I was in high school, falling in and out of love, discovering who I am. A good pile later, I was laughing and gossiping over cookie dough and red wine with my best friends in my grandparents’ kitchen every Thursday night and finding people that were truly my soul mates.
In 25 years, I have discovered heroes and heroines I have always wanted to embrace and become. I have discovered far off places and moments in history that I wish I was from. There have been poetic cadences I have fallen in love to, moments of syntax that built climatic moments that made me shiver. The ink that has been spilt to fill the pages of books I have so lovingly held on to and have adored have filled the spouts of my own pens, giving me my own life blood–ink– to write the stories that I share with the rest of the world (in whatever silly way I can).
25 will be beautiful- not for the number, for where I am or where I am going, but for the stories it will be filled with. Here in this windy place called Chicago I will read the same words as a girl bracing the fearful fronts of Alaskan water, along with another girl climbing to the top of her path in the world of law and academia. As they discover new species and subterranean stories, as they discover new legal stakes and social narratives in the law, I too will read the stories they do and discover my own stories through them, through our adventures, through the adventures I will take on as well. If you think about all of that, for just one moment; three women, on a ship, in a library, and in the wind, all turning the same page at the same time, feeling the same emotions with each word, sentence, page, and chapter; as silly as this sounds, it’s truly a beautiful thing.
There is a marine biologist- she is not the fish she sees, but the stories of the sea. There is an academic lawyer, who is not just her brains, but how she reads (& sees) the world around here. There is a girl, a writer, who writes about the world she sees but also reads about the world she hopes this generation will soon see. Regardless of the years that age us, the careers that define us, we are three women, best friends & hopeless romantics of the literary world.