It's strange to think that this Sunday I'm turning 25. It's strange because I've officially hit the quarter mark of my life, the time people really expect you to fully dive into adulthood. I've always felt that my birthday is a time to reflect on the year that has past, all the ups and downs and see how far I've come. This past year has been a really big roller coaster for me in my professional/school life and to be perfectly honest I'm no where near where I always dreamed I'd be at 25, but who really is?
Life is all about the ride, the experiences and to not be let down by what goals you have and haven't reached yet. If I had gotten to my goals in the time I had originally allowed myself I would have missed out on knowing some really great people, I would've missed out on starting this blog, I wouldn't have the confidence I have today in my work to even begin to do any of the things I've done.
There's a term I learned recently -- "scary age" -- its the time in your life where you pin point an age where you HAVE to get your life together - like where every decision from here on out has to be really deliberate towards some kind of end life happiness; and six years ago 25 was my scary age.
Broad terms - our scary age is the year we freak out over where we've been, where we're going, and how it rates. In our minds we want all the pieces of our Sim Life lined up and ready to go by X date of X year -- certain things should be built, other things should be in queue for building, and everything else should be sitting in our Sim Life dashboard, awaiting proper placement on the grid. 25, 25, 27, 28 - doesn't matter. We lock it in and there it sits, waiting to arrive like some whole-life SAT except you write all the questions and all the answers and somehow still don't think you'll get one right. The markers you hit or miss are part your own invention, part societal pressure. It's your goal to be famous by 29. It's societies fault that most people are married by 27. The details don't matter. It's unfortunate fact that you only live once, and by X age you want to feel like you're doing it right.
I don't know if there's a correlation between someone's scary-age and their general personality. I'd think there more focused would be the least scared, but it could be that focus leads to goals, which lead to failures and thus freak outs. Maybe it's the less directed, the more adaptable, so the less consumed with benchmarks, and thus the better off? I'm told there are people who really do believe age is just a number. I admit that I've yet to hear a male use the term scary age, but maybe that's just because it, like that's such a nightmare or I'm in a funk, just doesn't come out of (straight) male mouths.
Overdramatics aside (for this paragraph at least) -- life stages are marked by numbers. At those numbers we hope to hit goals, make progress, and feel correct in this world - like our life has a thesis statement and we're following it.
Sunday I turn some people's scary age - 25. Quarter of a century. Half way to 50. Closer to 40 than from it. An official renter of cars. The last restriction on my young life till Senior Discounts.
25 was my scary age - the age where I was suppose to have a child, my own apartment, a real job with my real degree, but for now I'm safe, it was 25 but now its 28 on account of inflation and my degree status pending.
25 though still holds a certain weight in my head - like this marker of actual adulthood signifying the end of getting away with blatant immaturity (in public). I feel like at 25 I have to sit myself down and say, "Okay, where are we? Oats, sewn; money, squandered; gateway drugs, passed on, just doesn't fit my personality; slippery slopes, avoided; lasting memories? made. Good work, now stop driving yourself crazy and start saving money." It's like from here on out I don't have to move forward in one, focused direction (besides school, lets be real here), but I can't blatantly move backwards either. I've made some solid ground and lived a life of which 90% could be shared with my parents; no my life's purpose is to not fuck it up. 25, the year I do as I say and not as I always want.
For now I'm three years from scary and feeling like I’ve finally arrived at the age and self I've been trying to reach since middle school. Who knows, maybe by the time I approach my scary age inflation will push it from 28 to 30. Or maybe I’ll just actually accomplish all I've hoped for and be fully set on everything else I want exactly three years from this day.
Wish me luck.