“And that’s about the time she walked away from me
Nobody likes you when you’re 23
And you still act like you’re in freshman year
What the hell is wrong with me?
My friends say I should act my age
What’s my age again?”
-Blink-182, “What’s My Age Again?”
It’s been awhile since I made a personal post (or any post at all), so let’s take this moment to gather round the breakfast nook and get cozy.
This past Saturday, March 18, marked the 23rd year of my life.
My birthday weekend itself was amazing, and I’m bursting with gratitude. I traveled home to my native Bay Area with my incredible boyfriend, saw Hamilton, and spent time with some wonderful people.
However, there’s something about the number “23” that fills me with a gnawing sense of panic. Perhaps I’m looking at this pessimistically, but I can’t help but feel that after turning 21, birthdays get progressively less exciting. I’m dreading each year I will age after this, because the older I get, the louder the pressure to get your life together becomes. You know what I mean: nagging personal questions like “what am I doing? What am I accomplishing? Is this my life? How the actual hell do I do my taxes?”
To recap: I’m less than a year out college, bouncing from temp job to temp job. My Facebook news feed is flooded with people I went to high school and college with getting engaged, married, or promoted. I know that 23 isn’t that old and I haven’t seen anything yet, but that’s what bothers me: the fact that this feeling will only get worse with each coming year.
Recently, I found myself speaking to a friend’s girlfriend who I had believed to be about my age. I mentioned that I was turning 23 in a week, and she replied, “oh, 23 wasn’t so bad, I remember having a crisis when I turned 26, now I’m about to be 27 and I’m just like, ‘what have I done with my life?’”
I had imagined the next couple of years to be the ones where everyone sort of levels out. I cannot decide if I’m relieved or worried to discover that that isn’t the case.
I think the root of this problem is the fear that I won’t live up to my potential. I fear waking up on my 30th birthday jobless, single, and alone- or worse, in a dead-end job and an unhappy relationship. I fear not accomplishing anything with my life. I fear my youth slipping further and further away.
Yeesh. I didn’t intend for this post to become so tragically existential, but I suppose I’m in the midst of the classic quarter-life crisis.