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But It's Too Early for a Life Crisis!!

I'm 25 years old.

I've got all the time in the world to grow up, to be an adult, to be responsible and clean my bathroom like I should.

I've got all the time in the world to meet my future husband, buy a house, and have 2.5 kids and a dog.

I've got all the time in the world to move up the corporate ladder and bring in the big bucks.

I've got a load of time, right?

If that's true, then why did I nearly pass out from panic when a friend mentioned to me (in no way meaning to upset me) that I would be 30 in 5 years?

Seriously, guys. I about lost my shit.

It all started when yet another friend of mine announced her engagement on Facebook a la "HE PROPOSED!!! LOOK AT MY GIGANTIC RING!! THIS IS HOW HE DID IT!!!" (etc).

Don't get me wrong. I couldn't be happier for her. I am so glad that she's found someone she feels is not only who she can but wants to spend the rest of her life with. It's a huge step, and I am so proud of her for taking it with such confidence.

My initial excitement over her news, however, was quickly blanched by the sudden realization that she is 2 years younger than me.

[insert mild esophageal spasm here]

So of course I contacted one of my close friends, Michael (visit his blog!!!), and proceeded to complain about how everyone and their freaking mother is getting married / having kids.

Not only that, but a few weeks ago I was at my parents' house, catching up on some much-needed and valued family time, and my Mom hands me a magazine that's one of those "alumni update" things from my high school. As I flipped through the pages, I was overwhelmed and humbled by what I was reading. People with whom I graduated back in 2005 are changing the world, heading super auspicious, fledgling companies, getting married, and flaunting their successful, adult lives in every one's faces (or perhaps just mine).

I'll admit it.

I'm jealous.

Like... really jealous.

WARNING: Pity party to follow. If you are easily annoyed / affected by whining, skip to the next occurrence of red, bold font.

Here I am, 25 years old, a recent college graduate who works the night shift at a shipping company. I'm single, pet-less, and renting an apartment in a low-income area (but I have great roommates!) because I can't afford anything else.

I know it's not true (or at least that's what I tell myself), but I can't shake this feeling that I am behind. It seems that I am "life challenged," and as a result have found myself eating the proverbial life dust sifting through the air after it has been kicked up by the feet of the people with whom I grew up.

I know, I know...

"Stefanie," you'll say, "Don't be in a rush to become an adult."
"Enjoy your youth while you still have it."
"You are moving at exactly the pace you're supposed to."

Fleh, says I!!! I'm impatient, ok? And competitive. And I hate feeling like I'm losing the life race. I want to do something that stands out, something that people notice. I want to do something that would be mentioned in my high school's Alumni Newsletter.

But I haven't. In fact, here's how my school would probably sum up my achievements:

Stefanie Howerton graduated from CPA in 2005. From there, she went to New York to study musical theatre but decided it wasn't for her. She came back home to Nashville with her tail in between her legs but decided to take another whack at performance at Belmont University, this time tackling opera. She graduated from Belmont in 2011 with an average GPA, and she now works with a logistics company where she makes sure people all over the country and South America get their Apple and Dell products. Every once in a while, she sings as a chorus member for the Nashville Opera. She is single and pet-less, and it appears she will stay that way for some time.

Yep, that sounds about right...

Pity party has now ended.

I got to thinking about all of this, and, whether the above statements are true or not, I have decided that I am going to do some things to push my life forward a bit this year. Think of the following as belated New Years' Resolutions.

1. I am going to finish writing this damned novel that's been sitting in my brain (and partly in notebooks) for coming on 10 years.

2. I am going to get a raise at work that will allow me to live in a more affluent area, preferably one where I can go out for a run and not feel like I have to carry a switchblade in my sports bra.

3. I am going to make my way to more normal work hours (i.e. 0900-1700).

4. I will have a more active social life.

5. I will nurture friendships with people who treat me the way I want to be treated, and I will let those who treat me poorly know that I don't appreciate it instead of taking it up the ass like I normally do.

6. When my lease ends in August, I am going to move to the more affluent area mentioned in  goal #2 either by myself or with 1 roommate who is around the same age as me.

7. I will be proud of my home.

8. Once I have settled into my new home, in January of 2013 (provided the world doesn't end), I am going to go to Metro Animal Control and adopt a dog whom I will love with every ounce of my heart.

9. I will love myself and be happy with the progress I have made in my life.

10. I will also be content with where I am in my life, because, really and truly, I am moving at the pace I am meant to be moving.

There we have it.

For those of you who are worried that I am pushing myself too quickly, don't. I enjoy the fact that I still think that fart jokes are funny, and I hope never to lose my immature humor. I am simply trying to do things in my life that make me proud to talk about my life.

So how about you guys? Did you make New Years' Resolutions (belated or not)?



Unknown said…
I can tell you, not too long ago, I felt exactly the same as you. I watched everyone around me making a success out of themselves through marriage, career, kids, or whatever one considers a success and it made me took a good hard look at my own life and I too felt left behind.

Granted, I'm a bit older than you, I'll be 30 in... a year and a half, and I am married, and a pet parent, however, I'm not where I want to be career-wise, and while everyone is popping out kids, I have no desire to do so myself. Which sort of makes me feel left behind, but on the other hand, I really cherish the quiet.

I look at other people's lives, marriages, etc., and I realize that I can't really compare myself to them, because I don't know the depth of what goes on in their day-to-day lives. I only know how I feel and what goes on with my life, and I feel decent to be where I am currently, though that doesn't stop me from wanting to better myself.

I think it's a wonderful idea for you to set goals for the year, it's what gives us all something to strive for. I've made a few goals myself, which I'm hoping to accomplish (fingers crossed.) Best of luck to you with yours.
Paul said…
I think some of us experience the same way like you did. Maybe some of us are scared to take the next leap because of the big responsibilities we're expected of. At the age of 25, women tend to be worry-free, fun and young. You should be proud of yourself but then again, if you have dreams in life, you do what you gotta do and take it as a challenge.
Winnie said…
First, I want to say that I don't really know what or how big the Nashville Opera is but it sounds impressive to me and you actually get to make some use out of what you went to school for! Me? I got half a degree in Forensic Technology (which I plan to use more for story facts and inspiration than anything else) and my jobs have mostly been watching other people's children. Nothing impressive there.

Second; I understand some of what you feel. My thing is that I always wanted children and figured I'd be married at 20 and start right away on the babies. Well, I married at 21 and watched for 3 years as everyone and their unmarried (and unprepared, and immature, and ungrateful) sister announced the news that they were all getting what I wanted. And those stupid facts about the benefits of having children early in life that I had to hear about in school didn't help matters. I finally have my first baby (2 months old tomorrow!) at age 25 and just decided that my physical age doesn't mean that much. I may be 25 but if I feel 20 then I'll embrace that youthful feeling. Good luck with your goals, and I hope you are able to enjoy life while accomplishing them (in other words, don't make it something to stress over if you don't succeed right away).
Ok so for real. I had a total mental meltdown at the bar where we held my 25th birthday. I had so many plans of things I was going to have done by then...graduated college, starting my career, be in a stable relationship on the road to getting married and have children by the time I was 30...guess what? I'm about to be 31 and the only completed task is graduating college...which was already done by the 25th birthday. I am single, childless, barely above poverty level...overworked and underpaid.

I just SOOOOO get where you're coming from. Full respect on the resolutions.
I met a 70 year old who entered college the other is a trip,enjoy the ride. :-)
Sarah Elizabeth said…
Good goals. I totally know how you feel. It seems everyone I know is hitching up to someone or other, having a baby or getting really serious about life in some other way. It gives me this angsty feeling until I really sit down and think about what makes me happy with MY life and why I love having the life I have. There's a lot to be said for re-evaluating yourself and your life and moving towards the life you want. Good luck!
Beth said…
I feel ya. Expectations from everyone are hard to deal with. Plus the ever difficult to shake temptation to compare yourself to others.
Beth said…
Also, it feels really quite awkward commenting again after being gone a full freaking year >_<

So... Hi again...

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