I am less than a week away from my 25th birthday, and really struggling on how I should feel.
Part of me is totally excited, because I have always loved my birthday. As a child, I remember crying myself to sleep on the evening of my 10th birthday, because I was "so sad my birthday was over." Wow, who would have thought I would turn into the extremely humble and selfless person I am now?
The other part of me is f-r-e-a-k-i-n-g out. As a kid, 25 seems so old. Hell, as a young adult 25 seems so old. I am literally the quarter of a century.
And the crisis is REAL! Okay, not crisis - leave it to me to be dramatic, but the existential dread and anxiety that comes along with being 25 can be crushing.
This morning, I woke up and really did not want to get out of bed and go to work. Wouldn't retirement be nice? I thought. If only it were 40 years from now. Yep, just me casually wishing for most of my life to be over so I didn't have to do anything. Cool!
(And I mean literally nothing. I wouldn't pick up a gardening hobby or anything. I have three planters on my patio with flowers that I already complain about having to water every day.)
So here are some general thoughts that come along with the Quarter-Life-Crisis that hits right before you turn 25:
- Okay, so I have a job...but what now? Is this the same job I will have for decades until I don't work anymore? And what if social security runs out and I never get to retire, ever?
- Will everyone PLEASE stop saying "adulting"? Dear God, please.
- When you're a woman who has been in a relationship for a long time, everyone expects you to get engaged ASAP. I have had strangers ask me why I am not married. STRANGERS! I know men have societal pressures too when it comes to proposing, but everyone acts like women are so thirsty for a ring. Like I'm just begging for it. I don't know if I ever want to get married. The thought of it makes me feel suffocated and panicked - so obviously not ready.
- Everyone tries to give you advice about kids. If you couldn't tell from my last blurb - I am not really sure if I want children either. I want to want children - society makes me feel like I'm broken for not having a strong motherly instinct. People ask when you're going to have kids, or tell you to wait to have kids because you're still so young and they regret having kids young which is even more bleak. Here's a thought: Don't try to give advice to another human on when/if they should reproduce!
- I feel insane jealousy from Facebook friends who look like they are traveling the country/world/entire galaxy. Like do these people have jobs?! How do they afford this? I am lucky to have actually gone on a couple of vacations this year, but one of them was a work trip. The other was a family vacation with my parents. It isn't like I'm hanging off of a cliff with my boyfriend or snorkeling in the Caribbean.
- I own furniture and it's so weird. I was sitting on my couch the other day and thought uh wow, I have a couch that I didn't trash pick or get from my mother's cousin's neighbor. I also own a washer and dryer. For some reason, I have never thought that I would actually own appliances. Like these are mine. My washer *points*, my dryer *points*. They live in a weird closet in my bedroom.
- Not only do I own appliances, but home decor and accessories also excite me. I used to think that the day I enjoyed looking at glassware is when I would officially become boring, and guess what? I have arrived. I felt happiness over a cast-iron skillet the other day.
- On a similar note, the fact that I am about to pay off my mattress is way more exciting than it should be. But it could be the highlight of my summer.
- Because I am getting older, I feel more attached to things I loved as a child. I mean, I AM still a child in a somewhat adult's body. All I want to do is color and watch Scooby-Doo and eat Dunkaroos. My pride and joy is my ceramic Sesame Street character collection.
- The overwhelming sense that I am not good enough is rearing its ugly head more frequently. Like yeah I have an apartment and a good job with benefits and have been published in various online and print literary magazines but I am a huge phony! I can't actually write and I am not intelligent. I am actually extremely boring and everyone just pretends to like me. I don't have my Masters or my Doctorate and my brain will keep melting as I binge-watch House Hunters reruns and drink boxed wine.
- Even though I still feel like a baby - I am also 25 going on 40 at the same time. I still enjoy going to a bar every once in a while, but an hour into it I'm like yep time to go home! I don't really like making plans during the week...but I also don't like making weekend plans either? I am a barrel of fun actually.
- I have recently come to the realization that I don't think anyone knows what they're doing. I will never have all of my shit together, even at 90 years old, but that's okay. Isn't that kind of the point? You live and learn.
There have been plenty of great things that come along with turning 25 as well and I am trying to cultivate the habit of being continually grateful - for friends, family, and RPGs and writing that allow me to play pretend multiple times a week. For anyone reading this, you are part of my human experience and I am so happy that you're here. You are awesome. And we will get through this crisis together.