What Happens at 25

I am about five months into my 25th year on this planet–it is slightly frightening that I am now closer to 30 than I am 20, and while I love being 25, as I take inventory on all of my friends, there are certainly things ’25’ has to offer, that the seemingly juvenile age of ’24’ did not:

Your body goes: Almost every female I know has hit 25, and no matter how healthy she eats and how much she works out, her body is just never the same. Things start accumulating in places they never have before. Gray hairs start popping up. You start noticing veins and fatty deposits that never seem to go away. I put on a pair of work pants this week that I swear fit me last week. My diet has not changed, my workout routine is the exact same, and yet, I can’t seem to button them (I am secretly blaming it on the dryer, although the dryer is the same dryer as well). After realizing all of these changes, you realize that you probably should start taking your doctor’s warnings of becoming pre-diabetic and your dentist’s warning of periodontal disease seriously (and, for that matter, once you turn 26, you are off your parent’s health insurance, you better start getting those things taken care of now, because you will never have that privilege ever again. I told my dad we should probably schedule my boob job soon).

It’s time to start saving up for the future: ….you mean you want me to put aside 25% of my already meager earnings?….

…and thinking about ‘your future’: It was not until I was 25 that I really cared whether I got married or had children or where I would go in my career. Now, everywhere I go, I find myself transfixed on questions, such as, “How would naming my child Thatcher or Franklin impact his social experience?”, “Do I think my husband and I will cook dinner every night, or be eater-outers?”, “I should probably start saving up money for my R.V. fund for when I retire in 28 years”…

“Crappy childhood” is no longer an excuse: To an extent, we all experienced a crappy childhood. When you are in high school, and sometimes college, you are still tied and dependent upon your family that crappy childhood type things can kind of impact your day to day life. Like, if your parents kept you up late, arguing, and you go to school tired, that will probably impact how you do on your test. If your sister is wild and out of control, and your parents have to use your college fund to pay for her rehab, then that might impact your financial stress levels. But, by the time you are 25, you are perfectly capable of moving out of your house, setting boundaries with your family members, and going to counseling to break those dysfunctional tendencies.

You are no longer surprised when your friends announce their pregnancies: The first few friends who got pregnant at 18,19,20–you gawked at, Facebook stalked daily, and wondered how they were planning on affording that thing. Now, it’s a perfectly acceptable age to have a baby, no one is ever surprised, and in fact, you had to stop Facebook stalking, because there are just too many kids to look at now.

You way weed your garden: By this age, you have accumulated childhood best friends, high school best friends, college best friends, and are working on your work best friends. There kind of comes a point when you really just have too many friends–too many bridal showers to buy presents for, too many phone calls to return, too many coffee dates and dinner parties to schedule–and you have to start prioritizing, and weeding people out.

It’s time to stop drinking: When you first graduate college, you are still in frat party mode; it’s natural for you to drink Thursday, come into work hungover on Friday; drink Friday, sleep Saturday; drink Saturday, go to brunch on Sunday and drink mimosas and Bloody Mary’s to cure your three day hangover. Being 24, this is entirely acceptable. Of course, being 25 does not mean you cannot drink at all; there certainly are still weddings and concerts and other social gatherings to attend. However, the drinking should stop at these: social gatherings, and maybe one or two upon arriving home from work. There is just something wrong when you walk into the same dive bar every Sunday, and there is a reservation sign with your name on it and a shot of Fireball for you already waiting…

Develop these things called ‘hobbies’: You started your first couple years of working coming home, maybe going to the gym, and sitting on the couch, watching T.V. and playing video games. Then, this trickles into your weekend, because that is more free time, and one day, you wake up, and realize you have way more free time on your hands than you ever anticipated, and it’s time to start a finding hobby (that feels likes such an old man term). Maybe you pick up golfing, or building model railroads, or volunteering to pet puppies. Before you know it, these hobbies are taking over your life.

Sleep still never comes: I think people are just perpetually always tired. I always tell myself, “THIS is going to be the year that I go to bed on time, so it’s easy to wake up in the morning, and I can enjoy my day without a billion cups of coffee and all the acid reflux that comes along with it that my doctor warns me about”. Nope. The older I get, the less sleep I actually get, probably because those ‘hobbies’ start taking over my life, and before I know it, it’s midnight, and I have to still wake up in five hours. Can’t wait for kids, when there really is no such thing as sleep…

Your life seems to be a bigger mess than it was at 24: When you are 24, making mistakes and throwing tantrums is semi-excuseable, because you are just two years really on your own, still figuring out the world.  Even though now you are feeling the full extent of your financial troubles and your health concerns and you have come to the reality that it will be a very, very long time until you can afford that nice house, and your life is still a hot mess, as soon as you are 25, you are now closer to 30, which automatically means you should be significantly ‘older and wiser’, and you feel an expectation that you should “have this all figured out”, even though you clearly don’t…

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