Age is a weird thing. When we’re young, we want to grow up. When we get older, we wish we were still little and without responsibility.
When I was in middle school, all I wanted was to be in high school and be able to drive. By the time I was a senior, I couldn’t wait to graduate and go to college.
Now, I wish I were still in college and dealing with the daily struggle of figuring out how much time I had to nap.
I look at my 17-year-old sister and think she’s so young. Seventeen was only 8 years ago for me, which doesn’t necessarily seem like a long time, but so much has happened in those eight years.
I turned 25 just a few days ago, and for the first time since I turned 20, when my grandma asked me if I felt any different, I was able to say, "yes."
When I woke up on my birthday, there were a few things that felt different, and as the day continued, I noticed more and more.
I’m now officially in my 20s
Twenty-one is great, but it’s still college. The couple years after graduation were a lot of fun, but I still felt pretty young during them. Twenty-five feels like legitimate adulthood.
When I look back in 15 years and I say, “When I was in my 20s,” I think this is the time to which I'll refer.
Quality over quantity
Don’t get me wrong; there’s something quite satisfying about logging into Facebook to see that 100 people wished me happy birthday, but it was the few with pictures and stories that really warmed my heart.
I enjoyed all the messages very much, but I don’t need 100 people; I just need those special few.
It doesn’t really matter how I celebrate
A few years ago, all I wanted to do for my birthday was get drunk with my friends.
That’s definitely still on the list, but my day in the sun with one of my closest friends and my family felt absolutely perfect this time.
I’m so old
I woke up on my birthday and thought, “Holy crap, how am I already 25?” I remember life without a cell phone and having to do research in encyclopedias. A quarter of a century is a really long freaking time!
I’m so young
But then, I thought, “Wow, it’s already been 25 years, but I have so many more!” It was a pretty liberating feeling to know that I’ve experienced a pretty good portion of life, but I really have so much more to go.
Being in a relationship actually appeals to me now
It really never did before because it felt like I had so many other things to do. I still have a lot to do, but my priorities have changed.
I’m still up for adventures, but I’d kind of like to have them with another person (which is a really weird thing for me to admit).
Time feels more important
Maybe this makes me an assh*le, but I no longer feel obligated to hang out with some people just because they asked.
Time feels a little more important now and my life seems a little more prioritized. I know to whom I want to give my time and they are the ones who get it.
This is just one milestone
Twenty-five is a big one; not only can I drive, vote and drink alcohol legally, I can also now rent a car. It’s a big milestone, but it’s not the only one.
I still have promotions, relationships and children to go. My whole life doesn’t need to be in order right now.
My decisions hold a different weight
There are things I definitely won’t be proud of doing at 25. I now have to ask myself, “Will I want to say I did this at 25?” If the answer is no, don’t do it.
Life feels just a teeny bit clearer
I’ve been going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis lately, but on my birthday, I felt this weird sense of calm wash over me.
It suddenly became a little clearer to me that I don’t need to solve all my problems at once, and everything really will be okay.