Times seems to be slipping past me. For the first time, I can feel the weight of this birthday hang heavy over my head. It just sits on the edge of my consciousness. Waiting.
It’s a big year. Since I was 15 & dying for a driver’s license, I have been excited for my birthday. Age is simultaneously no big deal and a very big deal. The age I was never felt quite right. When I was 15, I’d say I was 16. 18 thought it was 19. 20 thought it was 18. 23 felt like 24. Silly, but I’ve never gotten my own age right. Every year I’d mistaken say I was a different age, usually erring up. This year was different. I was finally 24 – an adult in my mind. As the months crept closer to March 19th, I’ve tried to refocus my age thoughts. I call myself 25 instead of 24 on purpose instead of by accident – trying to weed out any fears of the age.
I suppose this means I might have to kill off a few of my childish ways… like sticking out my tongue and imagining my cubicle as a fort…
It just doesn’t see right. Why should 25 be any different from 24? What is it about that number that has me reconsidering my favorite pastimes? Sure I’ll be a quarter of a century, but the fact is I’ve most likely already lived the first 25% of my life. I don’t feel old, right?
Back in college, I distinctly remember each of my roommates 22nd birthdays. Everyone loves their 21st. They can spend the evening pretending it’s an exciting one like they haven’t already been drinking for a few years and the bars are new and fun. When the roommates each turned 22nd, they all cried foul and ran to the department stores’ makeup counters to buy their first batches of anti-aging creams. I loved turning 22. The fear of that age was startling. My mom feels strongly that age is something to be proud of and not hide away. My lack of fear of age seemed to come from her. Who else could be such a wonderful role model as one who jumps up and down and dances like a 6 year-old on her 50th?
Maybe I’m succumbing to society.
Maybe I really do feel old.
This past year was the first I’ve walked through life feeling a bit worn down and aged. Roller Derby has done a number on my knees, in spite of the knee pads. The injuries don’t heal as fast as I remember. Certain memories are escaping me. Life seems to be slowing down.
But are these really causing trepidation? Could my slight uncomfortableness really be an aversion to aging?
Perhaps it’s simply an aversion to maturing. This is the first year I’ve made more adult decisions without all of the usual fretting. I’ve begun to accept things. There is less panic and pressure to make everything perfect. The little things stay little. The big things stopped being insurmountable. My mind seems undecided on this ‘to panic’ or ‘not to panic’ movement’. It’s accustomed to always having something to worry about, pick apart, and solve. It was a pattern. As problems become less important, my brain leaps to other things trying to work through the same channels, but they don’t fit. It’s fear mongering in my own mind. The loss of old routes of thought and problem solving no longer apply.
Maybe it’s just contentment washing over me. 25 brings contentment? We’ll see…