Twenty Five and Fraudulent
Please bear with my stream of consciousness over the next 3 minutes of your existence.
Being 25 is so weird. One day I am so sure of myself and the life I’m working toward establishing. The next day I’m crying on the kitchen floor at 3am on a Tuesday night drunk and desperately searching for vegan tacos on Uber Eats. Maybe this isn’t just a 25-year-old thing, maybe everyone experiences this. But I’m hoping that someday it at least dwindles a little.
Being 25 is this weird purgatory between looking at my mom to answer the waiter when they ask me what I want to order, and giving a presentation to a room of VPs at work in my greyest pantsuit. Neither of these behaviors really feel right and I’m stuck in this constant state of feeling like a fraud. When I’m at work surrounded by middle aged men and women, I feel like a child stuck at my parents’ house party. But being out at the bar with friends isn’t quite right either. Sometimes it’s just what I need; other times I think I’d rather be home crocheting in my bed wearing my purple owl pajamas and retainer.
I often feel uncomfortable with the fact that no single identity feels right. It feels good to be “that girl” sometimes. People think of you when they see a certain commercial or they buy you a souvenir from their vacation that is “just so you.” It’s comfortable, it’s a safety net, and it gives you a projection for your life. You’re guaranteed to find a career, a spouse, and a future that fit the life of “that girl.”
But what if I don’t want to be that girl, or what if I’m really not that girl? Or what if I AM that girl, but I’m just not there yet? What if I love the analytical part of being an engineer, but I also love to spread out a blanket and partake in a picnic with the homeless? What if I want to spend my free time teaching Zumba but I also kind of hate being around people in general? What if I like to use a Friday night for Yahtzee and butter-free popcorn, but I also like to dress up in a tastefully slutty dress and hit the club? Can I be all of these things? Do I have to justify half of them? The obvious answer is yes, I can be whatever I want. But how do you own that? Does it come with age? Are these normal 25-year-old thoughts? Are they normal 55-year-old thoughts? (Please say no, this is exhausting)
Being 25 also feels like your life has just started but is rapidly passing you by at the same time. I have this weird persistent urge to do as many things as I can. I haven’t really understood the reason behind it though. Maybe I feel like it would help me find my true self. Like if I experience enough different things, I’ll somehow just realize what I do and do not like, and I’ll be cured! All of the sudden, I will say “Aha! I do not enjoy podcasts about turtle development and now, my entire future has gracefully fallen into place.” This is ridiculous to say out loud though. So why am I putting it into practice? Why do I feel like the faster I experience EVERYTHING possible, the sooner I will realize how I want to spend the rest of my existence?
I should learn to enjoy this moment, and this moment only.