On This, the Last Day of My Youth

11 Jul
Sad ghost

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Today is the last day of my early twenties.

I suppose technically, exactly a year ago at this time was the last day of my early twenties.  Ever since I hit 24, I’ve officially been in my mid-twenties.  But last year at this time, I tried to avoid the grieving process by telling myself that 24 was still the early twenties and now I have to reap what I have sown.

I’m not entirely sure how to conduct myself on this, the last day of my youth.  Without question I shall spend the first 8 hours of it slaving away in corporate America.  When I go home I will have to tend to my to-do list because I just hate the idea of starting 25 with lingering to-do’s.  If I do, I will wake up tomorrow and curse 24-year-old Jackie for not taking care of her own business.

It is the fact that I plan to celebrate my last hours of 24 with a hefty to-do list that truly shows I’m ready for 25.

I tried to make myself feel better by calling my mother and reminding her (as I often do) that I am the last of her offspring and that my closing in on a quarter of a century surely means that she must be ancient and weary of this world.  It didn’t make me feel any better.  Because like a fairy dying from someone’s lack of faith, every time I voice out loud that 24 is coming to a close, a little tiny 24-year-old cell in my body crosses the bridge to 25.

I don’t think I ever properly mourned 21.  It was the last birthday that actually came with a perk.  Of course it didn’t really mean anything to me because I didn’t have my first drink until I was 22, but by golly if I could go back and celebrate the hell out of a birthday that came with privileges, I would.   Technically 25 comes with perks too but I’m not exactly chomping at the bit to go rent a car.

Maybe I should, though.  Maybe I should just march right over to my local Enterprise and ask for the most ridiculous rental car they have so that I can drive it around as I mourn the passing of my youth.  I can let my pathetic, jaded tears soak into the rich, leather seats.

I think that 8-year-old Jackie had too many big plans for mid-twenties Jackie.   Little Jackie  laid out these years as what would be her golden age – her peak of ripeness – her legacy.  She imagined vague but certain success, clearly defined and measurable goals, and a laundry list of unfathomable accomplishments.  After all, there’s so much hope to be had in the mid-twenties.  And your metabolism is practically at its peak. Glory! She imagined glory!

Turns out mid-twenties Jackie has an Acting degree she doesn’t use nearly often enough, a soul-sucking job in corporate America, and an underwhelming apartment near the city that looks like a hippie circle has been living there for weeks.   She also has an immovable layer of fat hibernating on her sides.  She does, however, have a blog.  And I think 8-year-old Jackie would think that’s kind of cool.

Even though she wouldn’t know what a blog is.

Maybe I can squelch this sort of thing from happening down the road by not setting my expectations too high.  If I project that Future Jackie will be homeless, goal-less, and so obese she’s practically leaping into her grave, there will be very little required of me to achieve the glories I have laid our for myself.  For now, however, I have to accept that I did not live up to 8-year-old Jackie’s expectations.

In defense of 24-year-old Jackie, 8-year-old Jackie didn’t know much.

So this is it.  Every hour that passes is one hour closer to 25 – to the closing of a bright-eyed, bushy-tailed chapter.   How monumentally depressing.

Lord be with me when I turn 30. 

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18 Responses to “On This, the Last Day of My Youth”

  1. misswhiplash July 11, 2011 at 9:26 am #

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY , Jackie OLD girl..cooo the years are slipping away..you’re down the slippery slope to 30. oh dear! oh dear!

    you wait till you get to my age. THAT is when you want to go backwards. If I could reverse my age I would now be 27, only two years older than you. Whooppee here I come again!

    Have a great day lots of love

    Like

  2. egills July 11, 2011 at 10:21 am #

    Happy Birthday!

    Hope you have a wonderful day ( I think I can just about remember being that young ). ¼ of a century is young in my books

    Like

  3. pegoleg July 11, 2011 at 10:22 am #

    How nice that you seek to share your misery by making your poor mom feel ancient and decrepit.

    Everyone else will jump in to make you feel better, but I’m going to give it to you straight. You’re right. It’s all downhill from here. Before you know it, you will be hobbling around, stringy gray hair hanging in your lined, wizened face. You’ll think “25 was the milestone that marked the end of youth, vigor and meaningful life. Why, oh why, didn’t I appreciate what I had then, before I became…30?”

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm #

      She likes it, Peg. It means I call her. haha

      Thanks for the straightforward smack-it-to-me advice. It’s incredibly depressing. I’ll try my darndest to cherish every fleeting moment of my 20’s, fighting tooth and nail.

      Like

  4. Jessica July 11, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    I know how you feel. I’m turning 34 on Wednesday. And I’m a firm believer that it still qualifies as “early 30’s” even though my husband is trying to convince me it’s “mid 30’s” and I better just accept it.

    Happy Birthday! Enjoy those 20’s while you can. You’ll wonder where they went when you’re in your 30’s. 🙂

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      it appears I missed wishing you a happy birthday 🙂 So happy belated!!! And this if funny- everyone is telling me I should look forward to my 30’s 😉

      Like

  5. thesinglecell July 11, 2011 at 11:34 am #

    Well, geez… happy birthday. I don’t even remember my 25th. Like Jessica, I’ve sort of had to back my way into accepting that I’m in my mid-30s, but frankly, I like it. So far. 40 might be tough. One of my best friends had a bit of an existential crisis when she turned 25. Then she lost a ton of weight, got married and set off into a life of relative bliss, with the occasional reminder of previously established neuroses. Which, I think, is as it should be. Buck up, Jackie. You’re busy and funny and loved. Enjoy 25!

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

      oooh I hope I lose a lot of weight this year!! but I dont want an existential crisis first…

      Like

  6. Margie July 11, 2011 at 1:07 pm #

    Happy Birthday. Youth is highly over rated, as you will see when you are closer to my age…

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:45 pm #

      🙂 This is the sort of advice in abundance at this time – and I certainly welcome it. I love the idea that my best years are yet to come.

      Like

  7. Cindy July 11, 2011 at 1:53 pm #

    Another perk of 25: your frontal lobe will be fully developed, so all of your decisions will be good ones!

    Truth be told, if I could rewind, it would be to my mid-30s, not my mid-20s!

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:44 pm #

      oh man – here’s to a year of good decision-making haha

      Like

  8. lsawyer713 July 11, 2011 at 4:52 pm #

    Oh my! I guess I really am old as in a few months will be turning the big 4-0 and I still don’t believe I have accomplished much…

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:43 pm #

      do any of us really accomplish anything worthy enough of us looking back on the years leading up to a birthday and saying “hey, I’m doing well!!!”

      unlikely.

      Like

  9. momma July 11, 2011 at 4:59 pm #

    Well, even if you did try to make me feel old I still love you and sent you surprises! You’re not getting older, you’re getting better! Love you…..Momma

    Like

    • Jackie July 17, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

      I don’t know about that 😛 Thanks mom

      Like

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