I recently became the owner of the age 25, which is kind of hard to believe.
For the past four years, I've still thought of myself as 20-years-old and forgot that I've aged on. I remember 20 being a big thing for me. I was a teenager no more. Maybe that's why the number has stuck in my head, but I don't think I can get away with that now.
Twenty-five is a pretty big milestone, so it'll probably stay with me for the next five years.
It seems a lot of people become depressed by their age, and 25 appears to be the beginning number of that process. I remember my dad telling me he had a hard time dealing with it, and I also often see Facebook posts from my peers who are fearing the age. I'm not upset by it though, it's just officially given me the realization that I'm not getting any younger. I am in awe of how fast time has gone. I've been out of college three years already, and I still don't fully feel established. I feel like I really need to buckle down now and determine what my life will hold. But I don't think that's going to happen.
I have also recently found myself experiencing random bouts of fear when I think of aging, which never happened before. In the past few months I've had to make some unplanned trips to the doctor due to unexpected ailments that I had never had problems with before. This was very new for me. Having tests done and being told to watch parts of my diet has made me realize my body isn't quite as young as it used to be. ... I really should watch what I eat and make sure I exercise. I do find peace in seeing those who are in their 60's and 70's and still looking good. It is possible to age gracefully as long as we maintain healthy habits.
When I was little I couldn't wait to grow up. I couldn't wait to hit the first big age, which in my book was 10. Double digits! Thirteen was next, followed by 16, then onto18 and lastly 20. In my head, these were landmark years of life.
On a side note, I kind of feel sorry for the ages lost in between. Eleven is one of them. I don't remember being 11 or 19 or 14. They weren't really significant years. I remember being 15 though and getting my driving permit as I looked forward to turning 16. I remember being 17 and enjoying my last year of high school. But those in between years kind of slipped by, which is sad.
Anyhow, this talk of aging has reminded me of an exercise a guidance counselor did with one of my classes in 7th grade. He asked us all if we could choose to be any age for the rest of our lives what would it be? Most of us chose around 20 to 25 and explained that then we could drive, make our own choices and have more freedom. After we'd given our responses he said that that was expected, but then he told us that he once had a student choose age 4, because then their only big decisions in life would be what toys to play with. They would have next to no responsibility. That always stuck with me.
Most young people wish to be older, while the elderly yearn to be young again. We always look forward and can never seem to be content. I admit that I wished away some of those in between years, and I think we all have.
I'm pretty sure the point of that middle school exercise was to learn to be happy with the now. Embrace being young, or a little older, and stop fearing the next number. We can't stop birthdays, so we might as well live them up.
On that note, I will now go celebrate my new age of 25 and rent a car!
(Laura Reed is a desk editor at The Review. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org)