I don't usually use Rosie Writing Space as a venue for my birthday nostalgia but that's pretty much what today's post is so bear with me readers. This year's birthday seems like a big one because so much has happened, and there's something about even numbers that I genuinely like, because they're even, and provide a sense of order, amongst life's consistent surprises. 24 is a big one. It means I've been alive for nearly 25 years, and 25 years is a quarter of a lifetime. The night before my real birthday I found myself in a crowded bar. It was loud, it had this youthful loosely Harry Potter flare, and then it hit me, a sudden reminder that bar culture doesn't have the same association anymore. A lot of the women also seemed younger than me, which is also, kind of, strange. I couldn't help but feel this desire to protect them that I sometimes feel now, when I see nineteen year olds at bars, and teenage girls walking home alone at night. It's been an eventful year because not only am I continuing to make money off my lifetime passion, but it's a pursuit that's beginning to grow, and I'm also beginning to emotionally and intellectually grow a lot. The more I grow, the more I realize that being picky about who I associate with is a good thing, because everyone who I choose to spend time with, and open up to, constantly prove that they're worth the time and effort. More and more I'm also having a great deal of appreciation for my gradually changing relationship with family. Before I hit the official, quarter life period I hope for even more growth. I hope for the love I feel for the people I care about to grow, and continue to remind me that it's worth it, and I hope for increasingly better opportunities to write; more than anything I want to defy and challenge the negative stereotypes that both the media and society have perpetuated regarding my generation. I don't really think I fit my generation's popular, negative stereotypes. Although the elementary school I went to when I was a child was an ultra hippyish institution the one thing they did right was treat us all as equals, while teaching us how to self-sufficiently, productively solve our own problems; that took the "I'm a special flower" belief out of my system at a very young age. I'm a lot more indifferent about material goods this year, as gifts. What I really want is a solid year, filled with productive, fulfilling growth, and the opportunity to learn new things, both about myself and about other people. I just got back from a highly enjoyable, Euro adventure, and that was a pretty solid transition into being one year older.