I’ll preface it to say that turning 25 was a scary milestone for me. (Don’t snicker). The fear started when I had heard once as a pre-teen that (read this next part in your best naggy voice:) “if you aren’t on a solid path by the time you’re 25 you probably will never get anywhere on purpose”… and I lived the next 15 years with that quote nagging in my mind. I call the period before hitting that milestone my “Quarter-Life Crisis”.
O.K., I’ve successfully passed age 25 and haven’t dropped dead or instantly become a schoolmarmish kind of drab individual with the turn of the midnight hour on this epoch. Nor have I become the eccentric, overdressed woman, wearing gold-lame jogging suits and too much rouge with a bottle of some dark liquor in my pocket flask.
Believe me, my thinking, conscious brain knows that I’m only days older than 24 and that anyone older than 25 is laughing their ass off at my juvenile, ungrateful attitude that I should still be in the 20-something age group and be complaining about aging…
However, the events of my childhood that made me dread this particular year are resounding in my recalled memory.
I remind myself that things are pretty damn good right now. I have a house (by extremely fortunate circumstances), I have a job that I love, my children are fantastic, loving, and growing up with all of the characteristics I am working hard to instill. As I typed, things are pretty damn good.
Am I where I thought I’d be at this age while the idea of college was being shoved down my throat in my homeroom class 11 years ago? Not by 1000 miles. I lost the shot at those dreams when I skipped out during 2nd period and never went back, in trade for a waitressing job in an octogenarian-filled diner where tips were the leftover change from the bill that was paid near exact. But the reality of losing it didn’t materialize until the last quarter of my 24th year.
There I sit – GED, college credits with no degree, and a single mother of twins. This is definitely not were I dreamed my life was going to be when I was sitting in that classroom more than a decade ago.
But, in turn, my life is better than it ever would have been had I followed the path of my teenage imagination. I am stronger, more aware and more self-sufficient than the girl who walked in those dream shoes.
And, I would have envied the person I am now if I were the person I thought I wanted to be. I don’t envy the girl in the reverie but I do mourn the dream.
Are you a 20-something girl who can relate to this? Read this book by Christine Hassler.
Love and graceful aging – Rachel