You Guys, I Am So Old

It’s my 23rd birthday in two-and-a-half weeks, and oh, my God, I am ancient. I keep getting all these extremely troublesome feelings about my upcoming quarter-life crisis, whether my studio apartment is noticeably smaller than the studios of my acquaintances, and if my job is prestigious enough to humblebrag about at parties. These are problems, you guys, and they’re all rushing at my face like a generously full beer bong.

I just, no matter how much wrinkle cream I preemptively put around my eyes in hopes of staving off those unfortunate early-thirties crow’s feet, I’ll never feel like I’m truly staying young enough. I see 20-year-olds running around my neighborhood and, Christ, they have so much time ahead of them. I can only vaguely remember my 20th year, as most of it was lost in a haze of espresso vodka and complaining, but I know I wasted it. Time just flies, you guys, and on the pre-eve of a 23rd birthday, one is rarely more acutely aware of the fleeting time we have left. I feel like time is slipping through my fingers, like these tiny ass grains of sand, rising up around me like that scene in Aladdin where Jafar has Jasmine locked in that hourglass. That’s how I’m feeling, all the time.

And I get this overwhelming sense that if I don’t write it down, if I don’t keep it here for me to come back to at some point in my life where I’m like, “What did I have to say at 22?” these moments will be lost forever. I can’t do that to my future self. What else will I have to do at 45, besides wistfully look back at old blog posts? Ostensibly take care of children, and hopefully enjoy all of the luxurious rejuvenating facial treatments that will be available to millenials in a few years.

The other night I came home, got a movie off of Netflix, settled on my couch with a pint of ice cream, and fell asleep before I found out if Katherine Heigl actually had cancer or not. I woke up in the full evidence of my seniority: melted ice cream puddled at the bottom of the paper container, blue glowing screen of my unforgiving laptop staring back at me, a cellphone I didn’t even bother checking before I passed out. That was when I knew it; I’d crossed that invisible line. I was old. It was only a matter of time before I started receiving applications for AARP and cheese-of-the-month clubs. This must be how retirees and veterans feel.

I don’t know what I even have to look forward to, now that I’m officially in my late-early twenties. I would crawl into a snuggie and padlock the zipper forever if I didn’t have the vague hope for a few more decent brunches and possibly a Real Housewives set in London or something. I mean, now that I’m old, it’s really the little things that I have to look forward to. There’s no more exciting obstacles, events, or surprises. It’s just a slow descent into wearing Spanx and participating in Jeopardy from home.

And spare me your snide remarks if you think I’m being melodramatic, you’re only 21. What the hell could you possibly know about life? TC mark

image – Shutterstock

Chelsea Fagan

Chelsea Fagan founded the blog The Financial Diet. She is on Twitter.


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  • TJ

    I hope this is a joke? 

    • lalala

      it is. see the tag

  • Autumn Banter

    UGH  – please.  I am 34 and wouldn’t go back to being 23 if you paid me.  Life just gets better my dear – you have so much to look forward to – so calm down and enjoy the ride. 

    • Bobby

      I’m pretty sure this whole piece was satire. It’s making fun of those twenty-somethings who do things like make big deals out of their quarter life crisis.

  • 2017calling

    Just wait till you wake up and realize that 2017’s version of Thought Catalog is being written by kids born in the late nineties, and you just lived yourself a few more years toward demographic nonrelevance. #dark

  • Gregory Costa

    Pfft.  You’re not even old enough to rent a car.  

  • Becky To

    The anti-wrinkle advert under this article was really, really creepy.

  • Anonymous

    I get that this is a joke, I really do, but it is my 23rd birthday in 2 weeks and this is how I genuinely feel.  So now I’m depressed, old AND pathetic.  

  • Dee Nermal

    It’s sarcasm, you guys.

  • Tanya Salyers

    My 23rd was in November…quite the “wake-up dumbass, you’re getting older!” moment for me.

  • Wanderingvisionary

    I’m about to turn 30!!  AAAAAHHHH!!!!  >_<;

  • Cam

    this made me laugh (especially the last line) since i had pretty much the same dread upon turning 21 a week ago 

  • Griselda Bravo

    what’s my age again?

    • guest

      “nobody likes you when you’re twenty threeeee”

  • katie

    I just turned 23 and this is the truth.  Only one more year until we are in our MID TWENTIES.  Two more years and we’re halfway to 50!  Quarter-life crisis indeed.

  • Gdpaule

    I just turned 20 and it’s hard to let go. I write letters to myself that i read on my birthday. that way i can look back as well on what i’ve been thinking during the past year. But you know, it’s a journey. we grow (older). :P

  • Adrian McMillan

    I turn 27 this year. Shit.

  • Jamie

    Ha, you think 23 is bad? I’m going to be 30 this year. Just wait…

  • Michael Koh

    :) i’m benjamin button 

  • Jordana Bevan

    lololol first 5 minutes of New Moon. I like that people are telling you to stop complaining about your age by complaining about their own ages. Lol logic? Oh, also, I like that people are telling you to stop complaining about your age by complaining about their own ages when this is obviously a joke. Lol reading comprehension ftw

  • LazyReader

    It’s nice to know that at 40, I feel just like I did when I was 23……
    In Other Words: get used to these thoughts and feelings, they never go away.

  • Ana Moca-Grama

    this is funny:) I’m 22 years old and I sometimes get this feeling that I’m getting old and I must preserve everything, from thoughts to the smooth skin I have now. people shouldn’t make all this fuss about this article, it is a satire, but it has a bit of truth to it;do you have any idea how old my 14 yr old brother’s mates consider me?:)) it’s always about the age difference ratio, so a 23 year old can, in fact, feel old.

  • Waicool

    wait til your 39 standing in the pit at a cage the elephant concert!  you will learn to embrace the ancient within you and those around you will appreciate and respect it.  party on!!!!

  • Frida

    Seriously, January 9th is my birthday too.
    No wonder I identify so much. Yes, I do believe the Capricorn traits they say.

    18th birthdays are not fun. :(

  • Rishtopher

    Maybe tags should go right after the title so that people can see them and not take everything so seriously…

  • Joant Ubeda

    I KNOW this is satire, but anyway . . .

    Interestingly enough, I’m the same age (23) but I feel that every year has been getting better. Every year I’m healthier than the previous year, I’m smarter than the previous year (I was SO dumb at 17-20), and a myriad of other things have been brighter. I like this thing called life.

  • Myemail

    I think there really should be a ban on people complaining about how old they are (even – nay, especially – ironically) unless they are a member of the AARP.

  • ..well

    the only thing that fades as you get older is your youthful physical appearance. your brain is pretty much set by down. not going to change much.

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