Birthday Feels : On Being 25, The Most Intentional Year Yet.

the ash tree journal

A little over a week ago, I turned 26 years old. And yet, I still feel like I heard my friends chanting happy birthday to me when I turned 21, just yesterday. How the hell did 5 years go by, so fast?

I never thought I’d be one of those people that would romanticize my age though, especially as I am older now, but here I am, feeling older, but wiser. And certainly blessed. It’s almost hard to believe that I am halfway through to 50 years on earth. Whoa.

At this point, I think it would be perfect to hit the pause button, sit back, and reflect on what I may call my most intentional year so far…

Acknowledgement : Old age is scary. Infact, I feel like the pressure rising everyday as I wake up. However, one of the best things and greatest gifts of all time, in my opinion, is the grace to live and be able to celebrate getting older, no matter what circumstances you’re facing in your life.

Lessons Learned From Living More Intentionally:

Time is passing by so fast. So no matter what you do, make the most it :

I’ve finally come to realize that time is my most priceless possession, and making the most of it is probably the best thing I should do with it. Reading this website link helped me get my time perspective in order.

There is real power in having “weak ties” and leaving behind (or at least deviating from) the familiarity of close/strong ties.

Weak ties force you to leave your comfort zone. They are more likely to help you achieve your potential by pushing you to be your best self.

I once read a book where a psychologist talked about how she was suffering what she called the “twentysomething crisis“. She found herself constantly in the same cycle of doing nothing particularly productive with her “close ties” or urban tribe. She was mainly always grabbing a drink and complaining about how the job markets were weak and are not as favorable as before. This went on and on and soon she found that there was nothing new in her life; no new challenges, job learning opportunities, etc. Thankfully, social media opened up her mind. She connected a lot with people over social media and learned from the people she was ‘connected with’. Eventually, she reached out to a Facebook friend on learning about a job offer and this friend put in a good word for her and she got a new job, and soon, she became a director at a new firm.

Her life changed because of this weak tie.

More on this coming on a new blog post.

Being Good At What You DO, Actually Pays Off :

I always drum these words into my head – to try to make it easier for people to help me, or to refer me easily, to whatever it is I can get my hands on. Whatever we try our hands at, we should always try to be the best we can be. In other words, whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. Whether it’s in school work, jobs, art work, etc.- Putting in your best produces better results and makes it easier for people to recommend us better than if we did a mediocre job. Mediocrity is overrated. Who wants to suck, anyway?

the ash tree journal

Related Posts :

Self-compassion is necessary.

I think one of the most important lessons I have learned this year is this: compassion. This is being kind to yourself. Not letting the inner critic in.

Self-compassion is saying to myself : I fucked up big time, but I won’t let this define me and I won’t beat myself up about it. In the past year, most especially in the past three months, I have been forced to be self-compassionate in order to survive in this crazy world of ups & downs. This was, and still is a time which is both extremely exciting and scary. So learning how to be nice, and staying kind to myself when things don’t go as planned, has helped me to stay grounded.

I do this by approaching life with love, kindness and mindfulness.

Intentions Matter :

A friend once used to drum these words into my ear. “Whatever you do, do it with intention”. I always wondered what that meant but as I did some more reflecting, I realised that I may have done things and acted in so many ways without intention but I know now, that is is imperative that everything we do matters. No lie, it did take a lot of life altering experiences to realise that living with intent was important.

How do I get it done?

I have refused to settle anymore: in academics, my relationships with people and finances.

the ash tree journal

I learnt I am still learning to be vulnerable by putting myself out there, pursuing my passions, and over time, I found that it was one of the most rewarding feelings ever. Of course, with vulnerability comes the fear of rejection. I have learned to push that fear aside and I’d rather be open about what I want and get rejected than not even try at all, you know what I mean?

Read : BIRTHDAY GRATITUDE – 24 Years In The Making! 



Never be afraid to create the life you truly deserve. Dream big. Dream bigger.

As Oprah said : you have to find what sparks a light in you, so that you, in your own way, can illuminate the world.

Join The Conversation…


  1. You look so beautiful, Ash!
    I loved the message on how intentions matter. Sometimes we do things without thinking and this is bad sometimes. Cheers to 26! I wish you the best.


  2. Cheers to turning 26 babes gosh I remember when I turned 26 omg was so scared but eventually knew my priority and started living my dreams which eventually birth my blog at some point and here we are hehe. BTW totally agree with all the points you mentioned


  3. Happy happy birthday. I turned 25 some days back and the whole 25 years thing has a way of coming with pressure, it’s crazy. Please do check out my blog: when you can, i wrote a post on turning 25. Thank you.


  4. This was really lovely to read, Ash. You certainly are wiser and I am glad you are able to observe yourself and learn things as you live life.
    Congrats on 26! Cheers to more life! 🎈


  5. Happy 26th. I am so proud of your works. just keep on living your dreams Ash. It feels good to be 26 I was there in October 😍
    As you grow older, life gets harder as well but you must be strong and face all the trials, love.


  6. Happy birthday and congratulations on your new age. I totally relate to everything you’ve said and I just seemed to nod at your lessons. Thanks for sharing


  7. I love the point on weak ties. Do you want to collaborate on a post talking about it?
    I’d be happy to help out!


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