Turning 26

In less than two hours, I will officially be 26 years old. If I could talk to the 10-year old me, I would call me “old.” I know better now. I am no where near “old,” although I truly do believe that to be a state of mind. However, I have officially lived for a quarter of a century. And, looking back over the past year, I can honestly say that I’m not sad to see it end.

25 wasn’t a bad year; it wasn’t a good year, but it wasn’t a bad year. But it was, arguably, the hardest year of my life. It was the year I moved out, moved away, lived on my own. Sure, I’ve had my own place before, but it was shared with 3 other girls. Now, I live alone for all intents and purposes.

The toilet paper needs changed? My job. The dishwasher needs to be emptied? My job. The mail needs to be picked up? My job. The bills need to be paid? My job. The dryer needs to be emptied? My job. The trash needs to be taken out? My job. Grocery shopping needs to be done? My job. Vacuuming? My job. I’m not complaining; I love it in fact. It is a sharp change in pace from what my previous living situations have been and has taken more than a little adjusting to. I am far too ashamed to admit the sorry state of mess currently inhabiting the unslept in portion of my bed.

I have a job that intrigues and challenges me on a daily basis. I find myself doing things I never dreamed I would do. Oh you want me to interview the Commissioner of Social Security? Sure. I can do that. Getting a resolution introduced and passed in the midst of the first economic bailout? Not a problem. I find myself exhausted at the end of the day and, yet, somehow exhilarated as well. It’s like what I would imagine successfully running a marathon would feel like, except this one has no end in sight.

The rest of my life can only be described as a swirl of color. New people have come in, old ones have taken paths I would have never imagined, and people I would never have expected have changed my life in significant ways.

People have described this time period as the “Quarter Life Crisis.” As a time of uncertainty and anxiety about the future that accompanies moving into adulthood. And yes, there are times where I have panic attacks about my future path; about whether I will, like so many of my friends, settle down and get married; about whether my work is good enough or if I’m not meeting the high standards that I set for myself. But I would like to challenge the use of the word “Crisis.” Could we replace it with “Challenge”? (Prosaic, I know, but you have to admit it’s better than “crisis” which makes us all sound like we’re in the midst of a gigantic freak out.)

Because, all in all, I relish the challenge and the adventure of figuring it all out. I mean, isn’t that what life is about? Where would the fun be if we knew what lay in store for us? I know I would be supremely bored.

Anyways, an hour and a half left of my 25th year. And I cannot wait to see what’s in store for me in the next one.

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