At what point does someone see themselves as an adult? Because I am 27 and still sometimes feel like it may never happen. Oh man, 27. That hurts. I find the feeling mostly rears its’ ugly head in the midst of professional situations. Mostly I treat these as “fake it till I make it” situations, but every once in a while I look around a table I am sitting at during a meeting at work and realize- holy crap, I work here. I’m not a teenager observing a potential career path. I am not an intern writing a one page summary on what it means to be in a meeting. This isn’t take your daughter to work day. And at that point it usually becomes clear that my co-workers have been staring at me for an unknown length of time as I consider all of this. Perfection.
Then there comes the birthdays. I don’t like to admit I am one of those people who freaks out about their birthday and what it means to get older but, guilty. I’d rather be one of those self-assured people who say “I feel good about 29.” Hold it, let me be more clear, I DON’T want to be one of those people. 29 is a horrific number. It is visually unappealing and just lingers on the sidelines of what it really wants to be, which is obviously 30. You get my point, I would like to be able to look on the bright side of these passages of time. Instead, I just focus on what I didn’t get done that seemingly everyone else has accomplished. That, and dying. Every birthday I think about dying. This can NOT be normal. I feel like everyone else is celebrating their current life on their birthdays, while I am worried about getting run over and perishing on my way to the celebration as some type of tragic karmic event.
I have realized that I don’t think it really has anything to do with the number itself, but rather my ridiculous habit of comparing myself to people my age who I consider “real grown ups.” You know who I’m talking about. They are your twenty-something friends who have every part of their lives together. They know how to bake things and what is appropriate to bring to parties and they are always, always dressed perfectly. They share healthy recipes and make recommendations about where to spend saturday mornings. I spend saturday mornings in my bed. Sleeping. Seriously, I consider it successful if I have left the house before 11 am. There was a farmer’s market near my boyfriend’s old apartment and it ran on Saturdays and Sundays until 12 pm. Let’s put it this way- we made it there twice. And during both times, we congratulated each other and felt proud about our grand achievement. “Look at us! We are so productive!” we’d say. If only I could feel that proud the one time a year I’m supposed to be thrilled to be alive. Maybe it’s because I’ve never gotten delicious farm grown organic peaches before 12 pm on my birthday.