Clocking In At A Quarter-Century
It's official. I'm old.
I recently turned 25!
(This is where everyone over the age of 25 rolls their eyes, laughs, and says something along the lines of "You have no idea!")
This was the first birthday that I felt kind of strange about. I've never minded getting older. In fact, I've often looked forward to the advantages that come with age. Meredith from Grey's Anatomy put it best when she said: "Adulthood has its perks. I mean, the shoes, the sex, the no parents telling you what to do... that's pretty damn good."
I remember when I first moved away from home and stayed up until 2am making microwave brownies with my friends, and I thought to myself: "Being a grownup is awesome."
This was before I turned 25.
There was something about the 5 after the 2 that made me realize that I am firmly and irrevocably in my mid-twenties. I panicked. I started thinking that I haven't done nearly enough to be this old. These are my twenties and I'll never be in my twenties again! Have I gone to enough parties, have I written enough, have I seen enough concerts, have I traveled enough, have I made enough art, have I watched enough sunrises?
So I hyperventilated into a paper bag, and then I sat down and listed all the things I've done in the last five years.
I felt better.
I don't think I'll ever feel that I've accomplished enough or had enough adventures, but it turns out that I've done a lot of cool stuff. And even though I don't really feel like it's enough, I don't think I could have packed much more into the last five years. Pretty much every moment was devoted to a project or pursuit of some kind. But it seems to be a natural human feeling to always want more time to do more.
There's also another perfect Grey's Anatomy quote to describe this feeling. In another one of her insightful voiceovers Meredith said:
"I have an aunt who, whenever she poured anything for you, would say 'Say when.' [...] and of course, we never did. We don't 'say when' because there's something about the possibility of more. More tequila, more love. More anything. More is better."
Thinking over my twenties so far and making that list helped me remember that life has been really, really good to me. I've wrestled a lot out of it, and I have no complaints.
So I have to accept that I'm 25. Period. Get over it.
Looking back over the last few years definitely helped put my feelings in perspective. If you're ever feeling anxious about getting older, try writing down all the parts of your life that you love or that give you a sense of accomplishment. I guarantee that all that anxiety was blocking out all the wonderful things you have to be proud of.