I am twenty-five years old today and I honestly don't know how to feel about it. My mom tells me I'm basically still in her womb and have nothing to worry about - time is on my side! - but all I can think about is (cry with me here) where I feel like I should be according to Sex and the City. I'm pretty sure this a legitimate disorder that Lena Dunham's Girls seeks to rectify, but for me, it's too little too late. I can't help but recall that scene from Carrie's thirty-fifth birthday party where she's sitting alone at her dinner table, waiting for her friends to arrive, and the woman behind her is having a party too - celebrating the big 2-5.
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SATC made twenty-five seem like the high-point in a person's life, as if twenty-five year olds all have their shit together and are ready to steal away thirty-five-year-old women's potential husbands with their boundless sex appeal and burgeoning careers in PR. I'm twenty-five and all I'm ready to steal is maybe a bagel from a homeless person. My sex life is currently on hiatus with no end in sight (mens, why you no loVe mEee??!) and my career aspirations are muddled at best. I'd sort of like an artist's residency in Paris, if you have one to spare, though I'm also amenable to a dishwasher's residency at Ina Garten's vacation home.
Part of me is aware of the absurdity and wastefulness of this sort of disillusionment. There are plenty of people who are twenty-five and living at home, or in a small town that doesn't have it's own Housewives franchise, and they are optimistic, ambitious human beings. But for every person I remind myself is in the same boat, I am bombarded with a HOT LIST of 30 BRILLIANT HOTTIES UNDER 30 (PLUS SIX BABY GENIUSES! [WHO ARE HOTT!]), like the universe sending a postcard from Accomplishmentville, 'Wish you were here!'
And it's not like this is a contemporary phenomenon. Percy Bysshe Shelley was also an under-30 when he died and left an enduring literary legacy, though how he would have fared in the age of YouTube videos is unknown. 'Kitten plays Ukelele!' could have derailed the entire Romantic movement ('Hey guys, you know what's fun to watch on opium??')
There are people out there who could take their feelings of ineptitude and turn them into something awesome, like a cake, or maybe a cake business where you sell only kosher vegan cupcakes called 'Poscakes', or preferably something that doesn't sound like an HIV vaccine ('Low in fat and high in FUN! and also meds'). I'm not that guy. I might eat my feelings, for sure, but opening a business is hard work and I'm only a college-educated upper-middle-class white male with supportive parents. I feel like I should make a list of things I will change for the better, or start a 'Life Goals!' Pinboard, though that would just turn into an edit of anti-aging face creams. I am officially a quarter-century old, but I remember being fifteen like it was yesterday. I remember my fashion faux pas (Birkenstocks) and my crushes (N/A) and it's kind of terrifying to think a decade has somehow gotten in between then and now. At least I'm listening to better music?
All in all, twenty-five will be just like any other year, except for I'm at a pivotal life stage where people fall in love, marry and have babies while juggling engaging, fulfilling careers. So maybe twenty-five is going to scare the shit out of me and I'll just be along for the ride, but at least I'm not one of those High School football players who feel like their glory days ended at eighteen. #Winning!