So this Monday was my 25th birthday, and even though I’ve had a few days to mull it over, I still haven’t decided how I feel about the big 2-5. In the last month or two leading up to this birthday, I felt kind of nostalgic. 25 is the last milestone birthday of your YOUTH, and even though most people don’t consider 30 to be old, it’s still a profoundly ADULT age. 30 year olds are supposed to have careers and marriages and mortgages, right? At least in your twenties, your maturity and sense of accomplishment have some wiggle room. Space for mistakes. Time for growth. But my twenties are halfway over now, and I don’t see any mortgages in my near future.
Growing up is weird. I’ve always felt young because I WAS young, and even though in the back of my mind, I knew one day I’d be as old as my grandparents, it’s very hard to relate to that age. It seems so far away. But now suddenly I’m 25 and I’m sort of starting to notice that time never STOPS and the years will just keep coming and I’ll keep getting older. I’ve always known this, but I didn’t really realize it until recently. I guess I thought there would be a Pause button, but I haven’t found it yet.
Turning 25 is like accidentally missing the last stair step. It’s that mini-heart attack you have when you think you’re about to fall, but then you don’t.
When you’re in high school and college, the world sort of revolves around you–not just in your own mind, but in a societal sense as well. Our culture idolizes youth and puts it on a pedastal, and a huge chunk of advertising, movies, music, and television are all geared to that 16-22 year old age group. And once you grow out of that group, it’s almost as if you’ve been kicked out of a special club. You’ve lived through high school and college and experienced all of the good and bad times that go with that chapter of growing up. You’re ready to move on, but you can’t help but feel as if you’ve lost something.
I know I’m not the only twenty-something who feels a bit lost. The recent success of shows like HBO’s Girls and blogs like “Fuck! I’m in my Twenties” proves that this is a slippery time of life, and those of us experiencing it feel under-represented in the media.
This quarter-century birthday has also been a bit of a reality check. When I was 12 and imagining what life would be like as a young adult, I certainly didn’t factor in the state of our current economy. Of course, when I was 12 I also thought that I was going to be an Egyptologist living in a sweet apartment in Cairo with a black cat named Shadow and a white cat named Isis. At the best, I expected to be some kind of wunderkind, and at the very least, I thought I would be working in my chosen field of employment.
25 hasn’t been all bad though. In fact, it’s been pretty awesome in it’s own way. This birthday has been an opportunity for me to reflect on all the good stuff too. Even though I haven’t written the next Great American Novel, and I’ve certainly missed my chance at becoming a child prodigy, I’ve done some pretty cool stuff so far in my life.
I’ve lived in a foreign country. I’ve co-written a musical. I’ve performed a marriage ceremony. I’ve been blogging consistently for over 2 years now. I have the best family ever and an incredible boyfriend and an adorable cat. I have a lot to be thankful for.
Maybe the hardest part of being 25 is coming to terms with the fact that I’m getting older and taking on more responsibilities. I’m growing older, but maybe I’m almost done growing up. (Does that ever happen though?)
The beauty of birthdays is that, much like new years, they offer a clean slate and a chance to start something new. Anything could happen.
My CompliKAITed Life is a column by Kaitlin Marie running on Kate-book.com every other Wednesday at noon. You can read all about Kaitlin’s Zombie Apocalypse plans on her blog Zombies4breakfast.com. Oh, and follow her on Twitter here or on Pinterest here. She pins obsessively.