Sunday, September 5, 2010

quarter-life contemplations

In a little more than a month, I will be 25. I was thinking about that yesterday, and how it didn`t really scare me as much as I thought it would. I`ve always been the sentimental type, mourning the loss of another year of my youth each birthday, but this year I`m not going to do that. Because turning 25 means that I have made it for two and a half decades on this crazy, destructive planet. And I`m in one piece.

Another reason that I`m not going to be upset about turning the big 2-5 is that I still have some of my youth left. 25 isn`t as old as it used to be. And if I`m sad at the prospect of turning 25, then the rest of my life is just going to be depressing.

Many people set up these little deadlines for their lives--what age they`d like to be married by, when they want kids, etc. I guess 25 isn`t that scary because I`ve been so free with when things can happen for me. I`ve always pegged 30 as my `married by` age, and I`m doing all right working towards that goal. (Although, you should never use an age as a deadline for something as important as marriage. It`s just working out for me that way.)
I guess my only goal at this point in life was to be out of college and working towards something.

It`s surreal to think about being a grown-up already. There are no When I grow up... moments any more. It`s all In the next ten years or so... Life is so strange. You don`t even realize that it`s going by until you`re a quarter of a century old.

As for my quarter-life crisis, I realize that my only option for dealing with it is to do whatever makes me happy. I don`t need to let anyone else`s expectations or my own fears keep me from doing what I want to do. I`ve learned that more important than any deadline or social pressure is your own happiness.

Sometimes, I feel wise for being a 24-year-old, and then I do something really stupid again. My goal for 25 is to stop beating myself up for those moments, and let myself celebrate when I actually get it right. That`s all we can do as we get older. Just celebrate the good. Just celebrate when we can.