A Checklist For Your Mid-Twenties Birthday

  1. Feel an evasive sense of dread whenever someone asks what you’re doing for your birthday, for any of the following reasons: You don’t have plans. You hate the plans you’ve made. You honestly don’t care about your birthday. You have plans that are more or less open to the public; yet have no desire to invite the person inquiring about your plans. You have plans that are fairly exclusive and feel guilty that you cannot invite the person inquiring about your plans.
  2. Have a phone conversation with your parents in which they wax nostalgic about how quickly the past quarter century has ‘flown by.’ Feel markedly older upon hanging up the phone.
  3. Feel immense gratitude for the following people: the person who called instead of texted, the person who sent you a card in the mail instead of wrote on your wall, the person who remembered your birthday despite not having a Facebook. You’re probably related to 2/3 of these people.
  4. Remember exactly what you were doing at this time last year and feel conflicted about the progress you’ve made.
  5. Recognize the absurdity in inviting people you respect to celebrate your most hands-off, humdrum achievement: emancipating yourself from the womb by force of nature.
  6. Scrounge your money together and buy yourself something you would normally never invest in, like a $60 bar of soap. Say “Fuck it, it’s my birthday” to the person you’re shopping with, the cashier, or yourself – whoever appears the most bewildered by your actions.
  7. Drink too much and mumble, “Fuck it, it’s my birthday” when someone you care about neglects to remember your birthday.
  8. Be grateful for the people who have celebrated with you for longer than you can remember and the people who are there to celebrate with you for the first time. Thank them for coming.
  9. Realize that this is probably the third or fifth or eighth birthday in which no significant ‘milestone’ has been reached. You no longer get rewarded with societal privilege, you’re just you now, and there is nothing new and improved about it. Think this is nice.
  10. Go to bed at a decent hour. You may be young at heart, but your hangovers suggest otherwise. Thought Catalog Logo Mark
image – Will Clayton

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