Last weekend I had a birthday. It wasn’t really a milestone birthday since I’ve already been able to legally vote, drink and gamble for years.
However, last Saturday I officially entered my mid-twenties, which is…something.
I’m not one of those people that gets worked up over getting older. And I’m definitely not one of those people who considers 24 “old” by any means. I was struck, though, by the realization that I personally don’t feel old enough to be in the same category as other folks my age. It has nothing to do with maturity, necessarily, because I had to grow up very quickly at an unfortunately young age. Still, the thought of having children blows my mind and terrifies me just as much as it did a decade ago. This is despite the fact that many of my closest friends have children.
I understand that everyone does life a little differently and one person may start a career or a family at 20 while another doesn’t until 35. There is no right answer. But there’s still something about entering my mid-twenties that gives me an uncomfortable sense of urgency, as if I were running out of time.
I think a lot of that has to do with the fact that I still don’t have a college degree. That will change in the next year or so, but I remember being 18 in college the first time and being curious as to why others in my class were several years older than me. Now I’m going to be one of those students in her mid-twenties silently judging the sea of whippersnappers spread out before me.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with being in college at any age. It’s just a unique feeling to realize that, while my life is drastically different than it was six years ago, it’s also rather similar.
I can’t say whether I feel wholly good or bad about the conclusions I’m coming to. I think that each minor detail and circumstance in my current life experience is so profoundly important that it would be impossible to consider the entire situation as being one way or another.
What I can say now is that I am anxiously looking forward to what the future has to offer me. On Saturday, my twenty fourth birthday, I woke up with a painfully stiff back and I laughed because I still have another year to wait before reaching that proverbial age where my car insurance rates become reasonable.