“It”, of course, is my birthday. Getting older is a funny thing.
I’m still trying to wrap my head around the irrefutable fact that, as of 6:37 this upcoming Monday morning, I will have been on this planet for twenty-six years. I graduated from high school eight and a half years ago, from college the first time almost four years ago, and from grad school a year and a half ago. I’ve been old enough to go see an R-rated film for almost nine years, old enough to buy cigarettes for almost eight, and old enough to purchase alcohol for almost five. Sometimes it feels like I was in middle school just yesterday, and sometimes (like today) I can’t remember what I had for breakfast. (What did I have for breakfast?!)
There’s been a Buzzfeed post making its rounds through my Facebook friends for the last day or so, and this is what it says about being 26:
As one of my coworkers just said, “26 is the year that you wake up and realize someday you’re going to die.” Twenty-six is a mortality year — you’re now closer to 30 than you are to 20, and it’s when you first experience genuine pressure to settle down and, like, have your shit together already. This is the year of most people’s dreaded “quarter-life crisis,” and with good reason. You’re going to die someday, and you’re one year closer to it.
Scary, isn’t it? And entirely true. When I turned 25, I was like “hey, cool, I’m solidly in my mid-twenties”. Now that 26 is on the horizon, it does feel like I’m a lot closer to 30 than I was this time last year. I’m at that point in life where it feels like more of my friends are married than single, and many of them have kids. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, mind you–it’s just one of those things that makes me feel old. If you’re younger than me and you’re reading this, your time is coming. If you’re older? Please tell me it’s all going to be okay and that I’m not as ancient as I feel with 26 staring me in the face.