What It Feels Like To Turn 25


Something about turning 25 seems to matter, and tomorrow that’s just what I’ll do. I don’t often put a lot of stock in birthdays and typically don’t even let people know it’s happening. My guy can probably tell you about times when we have gone to hang out with people or been at a party, and I refused to let him tell anyone that it was my birthday. I don’t really know why, but I’ve kept it more or less secret for awhile. This year I opened the floodgates and made my birthday visible to the masses on Facebook.

Years ago, while studying abroad in college I remember missing a surprise party for a friend back home. He was turning 25, and it felt monumental to me at the time. The quarter century mark. We had a fair amount in common, and I looked up to him and respected him (still do, although I haven’t seen him in years). It just felt like something was really happening in his life at that turning point, and I don’t really know why I felt that way or what it was.

As I sit here eating cold pizza and writing on the eve of my birthday, I’ve never felt more like a millennial. Not only do I typically hide my birthday, but I often avoid revealing my age. I’ve felt older than my real age since kindergarten. Looking younger than I am never helps, but my friends are almost all older. My adulthood seemed to start sooner between being financially independent after high school, graduating college early and getting married young. I hate being belittled for my age. Yet, here I am, embodying the status quo of a millennial. No job but plenty educated, no idea where I’m going in life, chasing happiness and freelancing on the side.

In the weeks leading up to tomorrow I had hoped something would come to me—an understanding of what this milestone birthday meant or some pearl of wisdom to share. Alas, I have little to offer there. This birthday still feels big though, like something has to happen or is happening. I almost expect to wake up in the morning and actually feel different.

I’m no longer a teenager and haven’t been one for more years than I spent in high school. I’ve been driving for over a decade yet still panic whenever I see a police car. I live with the man I married but am constantly amazed by the power of love. I leave clothes on the floor more often than not but never go a day without making the bed. I like my hair long and seldom wear makeup. Drinking has lost its luster, but I know which wines I most prefer. I have a good group of friends and like to think I am one in return. Budgeting has allowed me to be debt-free, but I still fall prey to a $20 dress in Target almost every time I’m there. I go to the grocery store weekly, but almost never cook. My watch is worn almost daily, but I am always running at least five minutes late. I love writing but will put it off for days for no good reason other than my own insecurities. I have learned a few things about myself but don’t always recognize the person in the mirror.

The next stage in life is a total mystery, when up until this point I always had some sort of plan. Something is happening, but I guess I will have to tell you what it is later. Welcome to 25.