On The Last Day of Youth

10:35 AM

Today, for the very last time, I woke up and thought I am 24.

I don't typically wake up and immediately consider my age on a given day, but I've been thinking about this heavily for the last several weeks and this morning was special. It was the first thing on my mind.

Today, on the 24th, I am 24 for the last day ever.
Today, I am exactly one month away from my wedding.
Tomorrow I turn 25.

Quite honestly, I have a limited threshold for stress, and this feels like a very full plate. I have to deal with the fact that I'm consistantly aging and getting damn near a point where birthdays are no longer fun AND accept that there is limited time before I enter into a state in which I have zero knowledge: hello, matrimony.

I'm looking forward to my wedding, or more accurately, my marriage.  I truly am, but it is a giant unknown, and in one teeny-tiny swoop, with two teeny-tiny words, I'm something I've never been before. A wife.

Ryan, who'd basically done everything interesting and new in the decade before he met me, is entering into this last taboo with me, which is comforting. Marriage is something neither of us has tried, and who knows -- this could be right and good and we could last forever. We could do this forever. But for both of us, this is new, unknown and will require blind navigation.

****

I'm remarkably good at psyching myself up. Ryan laughs at me for how often I suggest I'm having an anxiety attack, but folks, that's real. I freak out. A lot. And aging has always had me on edge. Even when I was 16, I had this feeling that wouldn't stop, that my life was passing me by and eventually, it would, it will, run out. And every year, it's the same. Time is running out.

What's more -- I'm changing. I'm becoming different with every year that I tack onto my age. It's inevitable, life does that to everyone. You live a little, learn a little and get reshaped with every new experience, but with it, comes the re-evaluating. I'm older, so who am I now?

When I turned 20, I went into crisis mode. Holy-shizz, I'm not a teenager anymore. Seven years is a long time to identify oneself as a teenager. I was married to the idea that I was a teenager. Ask me about myself, and it would've probably come spilling out of my mouth. I'm Jenn, I have blonde hair and I'm a teenager.

Well, maybe not, but close. I turned 20 and had to totally reassess who I was. I'm Jenn, I have blonde hair and I'm sort of an adult. (I spent a great deal of time believing that people in their mid-20's were real, actual adults. I've since recovered from that falacy.) I eventually comforted myself by imaginng this: remember how long ago it was that you were 15? Forever ago. It'll take just as long to turn 25, and you're not old until you're 25.

Well, shoot.
I'm 25.

Tomorrow.

****

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1 comments

  1. Most days I still can't believe I'm 25. It's a scary age...especially how it just sneaks up on you, and all of sudden you're old. I think I was way more nervous about turning 25 than I was about getting married--maybe because I was still young when I got married. At 22, I was practically still a baby. Happy Birthday!

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