A month before my 25th birthday, my husband nonchalantly comments, “Wow this is the last time you will be under a quarter-century!”
Umm. Why. What would possess this man to make a comment like that?! What did I do to him to deserve such carelessness? Instantly, I begin dissecting every life choice I had ever made. What if I never quit piano when I was nine? Or volleyball at 17? Or modeling at 22? Where would I be? Did I marry the right person? What constitutes the “right person?” Is being close to 25 the reason I am starting to see small cottage cheese dots on what used to be sexy flawless legs? What about where I went to school, or my career choice? My job is nowhere near my degree- nowhere near my dreams. What are my dreams?
At first, I wanted to be a pediatrician, but soon found out blood and needles frighten me. Despite my relatively thin build, I am definitely no pro athlete. Modeling seemed fun, and was for a number of years. But I like having control over my hair styles, my tan lines and damn it, sometimes you just want a f**kin cheeseburger. Okay, so modeling is out. What can I do with my degree? I can start at a lower rate than what I made serving and bartending, and hope I catch a break in the advertising industry. But how long do I plan on being in the workforce? Is it worth the investment at THIS age?
So here I am at 24.92 years old in a career position that I may not enjoy, but the money is great. And by may not enjoy, I mean it’s rough and most days I damn near hate it. However, I would love to stay at home and raise kids someday-a decision that every household makes for themselves. There is no right or wrong, but it’s our current “plan.” (*Cue to laugh if you please*) With this “plan” in mind, what can I change? Do I leave my position in hopes of something that makes me “happier,” yet pays less? If I do that, then when it comes time for kids, I won’t have as much saved in the bank in preparation. Am I a fool for staying in a position I dislike, or selfish towards my husband and future children for leaving a high-paying position?
Despite my self-loathing, my husband and I decide to meet my parents for dinner on my birthday. I begin to complain about absolutely everything. I’m pretty sure I even complained about having a 1-star Cracker Barrel server. It was bad. My loving parents nod their heads and offer advice and help. My husband has his arm around me.
Then it hits me. Hold up. Wait a minute. What am I talking about? I am ONLY 25 and I have a wonderful husband who loves me, a caring family who supports me, amazing friends, a high-paying job, a house, my health, cute cuddly dogs. Am I living my dream? Why am I searching for the wrong in my life and not being thankful for all that is right? Do I have a perfect life? Abso-freaking-lutely not. I can’t cook, I have the mouth of a dirty sailor, I am slowly losing the metabolism I once had, my vision is deteriorating, but I am loved for me. What more could I ask of this world?
Days after my 25th birthday, I walk alone through the mall with cottage cheese thighs, eyeglasses and a huge smile on my face. Curiously, I gaze up to see a wall-sized ad stating “Quarter Life Crisis Got You Down? Come in for 25% off select candles!” No, I didn’t want to take that baby step towards my first senior discount, but I’ll be damned if I don’t love candles.