Happy Lunar New Year! And welcome to 25 of my thoughts on turning 25.

Today is the Lunar New Year. In the last two years, I’ve abided closely to the pattern of the lunar months--its inevitable when you live in Asia. In Nepal, the monks would have a special puja on the morning of the Full Moon. In Thailand, I saw hordes of partiers flock to the wilds of Koh Phanang to celebrate various phases of the moon. In Hoi An, the 14th of every lunar month brought a lantern ceremony that honored their ancestors. The moon has thus been present in my life in a big way, made even more prominent to me due to the fact that this year I turned 25. 

While I feel like a lot of people are afraid of this milestone, I was honestly just happy to see 24 go. 

24, for me, was a year of education, of massive failure, of money troubles, and meditation retreats. It was loud parties, and good food, and friends you stay up all night with talking. I put myself in polar opposite situations every other week, making it virtually impossible to find an equilibrium. It was the year that I challenged myself to figure out who I was amidst the chaos that surrounded me. For as happy as I was to see 24 go, I appreciate it for what it was. It wasn’t easy. And the work is not yet finished. 

That being said, I think that the challenges I’ve faced as taught me something. The turmoil of 24, and of 23, 22, 21, and so on, have gifted me a lot of wisdom, in addition to their own individual successes and failures. In short, the last twenty five years have given me a pretty awesome tool box to get through things when times get tough.

Throughout the next week or so, to celebrate the Lunar New Year and the fact that I’m officially a quarter of a century old, I will be writing about some of the things that I’ve learned along the way. This obviously isn't a comprehensive list, but it is a lot of the stuff I've found to be important. 

In the spirit of exploring a new culture, through my celebrating Tet, let’s begin.  Chúc mừng năm mới! (1) 

Currently hanging out with the cherry blossom tree my landlord gave us for the Tet Holiday (2). 

Currently hanging out with the cherry blossom tree my landlord gave us for the Tet Holiday (2). 

1. This is Happy New Year in Vietnamese.
2. The Vietnamese name for Lunar New Year.