What is it about getting older that causes the kind of panic not felt in even the most overacted of Will Smith movies? By all means, let those aliens come down and do as they may to my being so long as I do not have to admit to myself that I’m officially closer to 30 than 20. Better they destroy the city if it avoids having to tick the little box that only a few days ago would not have applied. A day, a year, a whole new age box to check and here I sit – all the same for it.
Birthdays are usually a thing of celebration for me. You will no doubt grow tired of hearing me ramble on with excitement for no less than a whole month prior to the actual date. When said date does arrive, prepare yourself for an entire week of jumping up and down, loud 80s tunes, cupcakes and a slew of celebratory lunches and drinks. But this year was different. This year marked the year that I had to finally admit I was an adult. No more blaming money problems on school or entry level jobs. No more early-twenty-something-whoa-is-me angst. No more differing problems to when you’re older.
Suck it up kid, you’re older.
It’s taken me a while to admit. In fact, I might only be admitting it in blog form. I’ll probably look sheepishly at the floor if you ask me tomorrow how old I am. If I was a better liar, I’d do that too. It’s a weird thing because really, age has never been an issue for me. There have been a great number of people in my life who’ve made me look forward to being 30, 40, 50, even 60. But now, it’s less about the number itself and more about where I thought I’d be.
So many years were spent doing everything in my power to ensure the biggest, brightest future. And yet here I sit, one job quit, another on the way and not a single plan in sight. (Spoiler Alert: post to come about my continued inability to make career choices.) My childhood self always pictured something different. Maybe it’s the dichotomy of growing up in a town where it’s perfectly normal to buy a house at 24 while dreaming of a big city where anything was possible. From those eyes, the world really is a massive freakin’ pearl pooping oyster. From my eyes now, I can barely afford to rent a one bedroom apartment let alone buy a whole house. Don’t get me wrong – I wouldn’t trade my place, it’s just a weird realization. It feels like for the first time in my life I’m becoming aware that where I imagined myself at this age and where I rightfully should be are two different things. We don’t live in a world where you graduate from school and fall directly into your perfect well-paying, joy-giving job. Sure it happens, but it’s the exception, not the rule.
And so my usual month of pre-birthday bliss was instead filled with far too much angst, fear and general panic. My birthday and the days following it ended up being absolutely amazing, so my hope is that this is a sign. A sign that the year to come will be similarly amazing and I will find my fears unfounded.
Or so I’ll keep telling myself at least until I come to terms with the fact that I’m going to keep getting older from here on out.
It’s only downhill if I make it so.