Four months ago, when my best friend was turning 24, she called me up, whining hysterically that she was going to die alone.
"I'm never going to get married. What's the point in having kids? I might as well just accept my fate. My life is over."
My best friend is kind of dramatic.
Doesn't she know 25 is actually when you become totally hopeless about your romantic prospects, think about adopting 10 cats and just accept your future?
Come on. Be realistic, Helen.
Last night, I was on my bed, and my boyfriend and I were talking about an apartment we saw last week that we decided wasn't for us.
It had no good vibes.
"I feel like we're never going to find a place," I said.
Cue the snowball effect because 10 minutes later, I started crying hysterically.
My fingertips dusted off my tears and smeared mascara, as I kept crying about how I never lived in France and wanted to work in Disney World.
Moving in together is just the first step to me closing the window on my youth because now I need to have kids.
I never wrote a book, and I have no idea what degree to pursue.
I don't want to spend my life doing a job that isn't writing-based, and there are no writing jobs available unless I move to New York.
But then I can't bring the dogs, and then I'm going to be 40. I did nothing with my life.
Cue awkward staring contest.
Now, is any of that true? Not exactly.
Did I feel better after venting about my poor, horrible existence? I did.
Here are nine other completely irrational fears we have once we turn 25 and think our lives are literally over:
1. I need to do everything I want to do before I have kids.
Sure, you may not be able to do as many things as you want when you have kids (for example, shark diving may not be a great idea as you risk losing a limb), but your interests and dreams don't need to fade completely when you become a parent.
If you have time to go back to school, work full-time, work two jobs or maintain a household, you can absolutely can find even an hour a week to paint, write or still be a photographer.
Life is just about balance.
2. I need to pick a direction and go in it.
At 25, I'm about to pursue my bachelor's degree.
In what? I kind of have no idea.
For the longest time, I wanted to major in psychology and become an adolescent counselor.
Now, I want to major in creative writing.
We're still young enough to not fully understand our true identities yet. That's okay.
3. I can't go backward in salary.
Let's say, for example, it's your dream to get a job being a photographer at Disney World (I'm kind of a Disney fanatic, if you can't tell).
Even though the salary isn't comparable to what you've made or are currently making now, pursuing what you want to do makes you more wealthy than doing a job you hate.
Remember when you turned 21? You were in college, working 25 hours a week in retail and living off ramen noodles.
But you had the time of your f*cking life.
Same concept. If it's what makes you happy, money is on the back burner.
You don't need a lavish lifestyle to be living your dream.
4. I'll always be stuck in this job.
Maybe the job you have now was good for a little bit to help you get on your feet or gain experience in something that isn't folding shirts, but it's not where you see yourself in five years.
At one time or another, we all work crappy, horrible jobs we hate.
Hone in on what you want and what your interests are.
If you work hard, you can transition yourself to a job that makes you want to go to work every single day.
5. I never wrote a book.
If you're like me and hate yourself that you never finished your book, you're not alone. Writing a book is hard.
But just like any hobby, you need to dedicate the time to actually do it.
As my boyfriend said last night, "Stephen King and JK Rowling didn't publish books until they were almost 40."
I'm not 100 percent sure that's accurate. But hey, it made me feel better.
6. I'm never going to get married.
This only applies if you're one of those people who wants to get married.
If so, calm down. It'll happen.
Our generation, I think, is so obsessed with the ideal image of the way life ought to be.
We have to think about prolonging something that just feels innately natural to us. We become disillusioned with our current lives.
It's a normal, adequate feeling to have.
We are born with the inclined desire to love and feel secure, but obtaining that only comes with time.
We know nothing is inherently given to us.
We need to work on ourselves first.
We need to work toward loving ourselves, our flaws and our uniqueness before ever thinking we need to settle down as a way to prove we're on the right track.
You'll get married one day, and it'll be beautiful.
7. I should be more financially stable.
This one is just ridiculous.
I'm not saying you shouldn't have savings or a retirement plan if your job offers it.
You definitely should be smart about your money.
But today's world isn't even close to how it was when we were growing up as children, let alone how it was even 10 years ago.
Getting a job is kind of a catch-22.
The employer wants someone with a degree, so you work hard and get yourself thousands of dollars of debt.
Then, the employer doesn't take you because you don't have any experience.
We struggle to even go to college.
We take out loans. We work multiple jobs.
We drain our parents' bank accounts dry, all to be working at a clothing store when we have our master's degrees because hey, a job is a job.
Life today is difficult to navigate.
With rent being over a $1,000 per month (based on my local living only), gas sometimes being almost $4 a gallon (or more), monthly phone bills being over $100 a month, college debt and everything needed for basic living, it's no wonder a lot of Millennials are living with their parents until they're almost 30 and getting credit cards just to survive.
8. My boyfriend, girlfriend, cousin or guy I went to college with is more successful than I am.
Facebook is great because you get to connect with friends and family you can't see on the regular.
But it's also terrible because you get to see, every day, how "better off" everyone is.
I feel this struggle sometimes, too.
My boyfriend, for example, is an Emmy-nominated TV producer, writer and editor. He's amazing.
He's one of the most talented people I've ever met, and I am beyond proud of every single one of his accomplishments.
Sometimes, I wish I could find my niche the way he has, though. Not necessarily in television, but I wish I had found something that provided me with that much passion.
It's easy to compare.
Life is a growing experience. You'll find out what you're good at and what you want to do for the rest of your life.
Don't compare. You'll get there in due time.
9. I should have accomplished this by now.
The worst thing Millennials face when they hit the quarter-life crisis is the idea of deadlines.
Just last night, I was crying over the fact I never published a book or lived in Paris.
As my boyfriend reminded me last night, you are giving yourself deadlines.
Life is not a race, and it's certainly not a competition.
Paris will always be there. If you come home and write for an hour each day, that book will get finished eventually.
So on and so forth.
When we keep putting demands on our lives and thinking everything needs to happen in a specific order, we miss out on what's truly inspiring and fun about being 25.
I should know. I did everything in my life out of order.
I got married on a whim when I was 18 years old. I moved away to a tropical island, where I touched the Pacific and Indian oceans.
I went through a divorce when I was 21 years old. I went back to school.
I worked two jobs to pay for college.
I worked my way up the ladder, and just in February of this year, after writing for 18 years, I finally decided to publish one of my pointless ramblings.
Maybe the workings for my next book are right here, and the handsome, talented love of my life will turn my writings into a smash hit movie.
A girl can dream, right?