My favorite number is 23. Or used to be, rather.
It is definitely not my favorite year.
(Spoiler alert: somewhat whiny blog post ahead.)
23 was supposed to be my “golden birthday,” or when you are the same age as the date you were born on. I have only been 23 for about 6 months (on the 23rd of this month it’ll be 6 months, to be exact..but who’s counting?) I read a Buzzfeed article not too long ago that rated the different ages of the 20s decade according to how good/bad they were. Yep, you guessed it; 23 was ranked as the worst year of the 20s. As the article so cleverly advises:
“You’re a year or two removed from college and reaching a legal drinking age, but you’re not mature enough to have actually figured out what you want to do with your life. Drinking and partying is getting old, but you’re equally bored by staying home. Basically everything is terrible. Ask a bunch of over-30 people what the worst year of their twenties was and they will inevitably tell you that when they were 23, everything fell apart and they had no idea who they were anymore or WTF they were doing with themselves. Be strong, better years are coming.”
Not quite the “golden birthday” I anticipated. In hindsight, maybe 23 was not the best favorite number for me to pick for myself. I can honestly say that this article rings 100% true, of my experiences so far that is. I guess we will see how accurate the rest of the summaries are as I get older.
“You’re not mature enough to have actually figured out what you want to do with your life.”
Why yes, I am having a quarter-life crisis. (Well, probably more like a past-quarter-life-but-not-quite-mid-life crisis, because chances are that I will not live to be the ripe age of 92). The career path I have been planning since I was in elementary school? Definitely not turning out to go where I anticipated, nor do I think that is what I want for myself anymore. Where I see myself in ten years? I can’t even figure out what I want to wear tomorrow, let alone where I see myself in ten years. Should I have kids? Don’t even get me started…
I have done nothing but stress myself out with these questions day after day for the past 6 months. All day I sit around wondering if I’m making the right life choices, what I should do with my life, why I don’t have the answers to all of these questions laid out and why thinking about it all overwhelms me to the point of tears. Because, honestly, at 23 shouldn’t I have everything mapped out for life?
NO. “Better years are coming.”
I. Am. 23. Freaking. Years. Old. So many times my mom has told me that the best years of my life are ahead of me. I can’t begin to explain how much I hope that she is right (it is one of the few times I hope my mom is able to say “I told you so”). But right now, I feel stuck in the never ending tunnel that is the year of 23.
Sometimes I’m able to pull myself out of this mentality when I’m around friends, family and those whose company allows me to chill the hell out. When I’m able to allow myself to have fun, let go and just live in the moment, I am able to realize that I’m okay, I’m where I’m meant to be right now. Because in the end, everything is in the hands of God and fate. I have no true control over it all, any of it. For all I know, my life could end tomorrow. The world could end tomorrow. Everything as I know it could change in the blink of an eye, and I will have wasted so much time and energy worrying about all these things that I don’t need to have an answer to right now. Even as I look back on the past six months, I realize that despite my immense anxiety and worry, my life has moved on. Months have passed. Though I may still be in the same spot I was six months ago, time has passed without me having any more answers than I did then. That is what I really need help remembering. People change. Everything changes. The phrase, “If you want to hear God laugh, tell Him your plans” comes to mind. Even if I thought I had the answers now, I have no idea what is in store for my life. I just have to take a deep breath or twenty, relax, and watch my life unfold. Having anxiety over things that haven’t happened yet is pointless. Sometimes it’s just hard to remind myself of that.
For now, I’ll just not-so-patiently await my 24th birthday, or the year that “You just are. It’s OK,” as Buzzfeed says.