Me, in my home, with my plants, my partner, my books, my youth—I turned 25 today.

I've started finding symbolism and meaning in the smallest of things, almost bordering on superstition, so I wanted to start my twenty-sixth year out in a way that felt calm and meaningful. I woke up early this morning, showered, made the bed, drank two glasses of water, and tidied the apartment. I listened to Verdi's Rigoletto on the radio, walked slowly to the train, and read a few Mary Oliver poems on my ride to work. Everything felt fresh and intentional, like seeing through an altered lens, a slightly altered lens. Nothing has changed, really—only in my mind, and only because I welcomed it; I invented it.

When it's over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.  
When it's over, I don't want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don't want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.  
I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.
- Excerpt from When Death Comes by Mary Oliver


  1. happy birthday! love your posts. that's a beautiful and fitting excerpt.
    a fan.

  2. This is beautiful and so are you. Happy birthday!

  3. Hi Jessica. I've been following your blog for a little while, but I think this is the first I've commented. Hello and happy birthday.

    Your writing and the Mary Oliver poem are both lovely. Thank you for sharing such a nice way of being in the world. :)

  4. Happy birthday, and enjoy your 26th year!

  5. Happiest birthday to you! Wishing you a most wonderful year full of amazement.

  6. happy birthday! 25 is a lovely age :)

  7. Happy birthday! I love the Mary Oliver excerpt.

  8. Happy Birthday! That Mary Oliver excerpt is wonderful and fits this post so nicely. I love your line, "Everything felt fresh and intentional." This is such an inspiring post. I really love your writing.

  9. That poem is so moving. I should read more from Mary Oliver. Happy birthday to you! May you have many adventurous and meaningful days and years to come! :)

  10. Happy belated birthday :)

    i just found your blog and i´m in love with it.
    perfect post*

  11. This is a beautiful idea of choosing how your next year of life will be. People always ask if you feel any different or older and the answer is usually no, but by living this way you could say yes.

  12. Hi Jessica, just stumbled upon your blog and I love this post, especially the Mary Oliver poem!

    I also had my birthday not long ago, and had a similar refreshing sort of day. I felt like I really wanted to 'celebrate' in a way that was peaceful and affirming, taking time to really acknowledge the passing of time and to re-evaluate. I used to dread birthdays and the attention but I'm beginning to find them rather nice! Sounds like you had a lovely day. :)