1. Finding out your ex got engaged.
Generally speaking, this is the sort of event that you find about from Facebook — you’re scrolling mindlessly for the 74th time that day, when all of a sudden there’s something significantly more noteworthy than the 19th consecutive link about how awesome Chris Pratt is. Something that makes your stomach drop and forces you to go for a 3 hour walk.
This hasn’t happened to me yet, but it’s happened to quite a few friends — all of whom have treated the occasion as a minor cause for celebration. Mostly, of course, to temporarily put off the fact that life wasn’t supposed to be playing out like this.
2. First glimpse into physical, old people-type aging.
We’re not yet at the age where our days revolve around going to various doctors who tell us whether or not we might die, but we’re starting to get a peek into eventual colonscopy and general aging veteranship.
For instance, I’m 24, and I’ve got a few gray hairs. I thoroughly enjoy them, as they make me appear like I’ve witnessed a lot more life occur than I actually have. That said, I’m interested to see how my salt grains mature — if they multiply, how fast they multiply, and if I’m gonna have to (or even want to) start using some sort of Just For Men type thing.
Part of me wants to start using Just For Men and see if they’d put me on their commercials, but I’m pretty sure you have to be a just-retired Abercrombie Model in order to qualify.
3. Losing your friends to $$$$.
As we get older and veer off into pursuing arbitrary skills that yield us arbitrary amounts of money, we inevitably fall into lifestyles based on those things. Meaning, two college friends who majored in English and Finance can certainly still be friends, but not without a constant, underlying fiscal tension.
No unlike realizing you have nothing in common with your high school friends, this is a slow, painful process that happens over a period of several years. That said, there will most certainly be a random moment where it fully hits you — be it at a restaurant you can’t afford or a concert your friend won’t go to due to cost (despite this being the band you jammed out to for years), there’s a deep sadness to financial realities undercutting strong bonds.
4. Your first bachelor/bachelorette party.
I imagine the last bachelor party isn’t quite as fun as the first. Either way, it’s a bit weird that the guy who you once witnessed sloppily hook up with Suzy Smith at the prom afterparty is now taking such a final, mature leap.
5. Identifying way more with the teachers than the students.
I think this happens a few months into the working world. You’re tired, you’re on line for groceries at 9pm, and all of a sudden that comment your 10 grade history teacher made — the one about how memorizing 30 terms is nothing compared to having to support yourself — really hits home.
6. A sincere interest in real estate.
Last month, I was walking around a very nice neighborhood in South Brooklyn with my girlfriend. It’s an area neither of us visit that often, but it’s one that makes 31 year-old newlyweds froth at the mouth.
For the first time in my life, I experienced an inkling that I imagine most committed couples experience 5-8 times a day — what are the real estate listings in this neighborhood??
Soon enough, we found a realtor place and spent a good five minutes window shopping. Honestly, it was one of the bigger highlights of my summer.
7. Pushing back all your major life goals from 25 to 30.
I’d say this happens somewhere around 23 and a half, when you realize that 98% of your ambitions were radically premature.
For this reason, I’m not exactly looking forward to turning 28.