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. ♣