I wish that I could tell you that twenty five tastes like the person you’ve always wanted to meet, tucked in next to you in your apartment in the city, re-assuring you night after night that you’ve made it. But it doesn’t. Well maybe it does for some. But it doesn’t for us. We’re not those twenty-five year olds. Our quarter life crisis doesn’t fit into that picture just yet.
We’re the ones still living with our parents, struggling to finish Grad school because it was the only choice we felt we had in the aftermath of the recession. We’re the ones who don’t stay out too late because we don’t have a ride home afterwards and frankly, we don’t have the money to join you for that one last drink. We’re the ones who have scars running down our legs from the nights that the chemicals in our brain didn’t balance out quite right and cutting ourselves open felt like the only escape. We’re the ones who scrub ourselves in the shower attempting to purge momentary affections off our skin and realising that no matter how hard you try, you’ll never be able to rub hard enough.
I guess I had the idea in my head that twenty five would look a lot different than it does right now at 4am on a Thursday morning. If you had told me even five years ago that I’d still be sitting in the same room, on the same bed, with my hair up in the same messy knot, I would’ve spewed profanities at you. But the truth is, life usually never measures up to the ambitions we have in our heads. And you know what? Maybe that’s okay. Maybe, for now, we have other lessons to learn.
Maybe twenty five is supposed to feel like this for some of us – humble, solitary, vulnerable and brutally honest.
For all the things I don’t know though, there are so many things I can say about being twenty five.
Twenty five tastes like kisses that aren’t quite love, no matter how many times I’ve tried to convince myself otherwise. Twenty five feels like all the times I’ve failed at something and spent days in my room, under the covers until 2pm before realising that somewhere inside me, a fire still burns brighter than my past. Twenty five feels like dreams I still have, no matter how many times the universe has said no. More than anything, twenty five feels like the people I’ve learned to let in, trusting that they’ll be around through it all.
Most of us are just catching up with ourselves, caught somewhere between young adult and a mortgage. A generation with endless opportunity and endless debt. So maybe, in the midst of it all, even for just a moment, we’re allowed to use twenty five to breathe and look at the stars, and hope that we’ll be lucky enough to one day say that this was only the first quarter of our journey.