Now I know this may come across as a little ridiculous to some people. But 24 has been the first birthday I’ve ever had that hasn’t excited me. Now sure I was excited about the day, my friends and family showered me with love and made me feel very special. I just wasn’t excited about turning 24.
I talked about this with a few people, older colleagues and my parents absolutely didn’t get it. Which is fine, I didn’t really get it either. 24 isn’t old. It’s not even 25, the quarter life crises age which, as someone cheerfully told me last week, is closer to 30 than 20. I’m not unhappy with where I’m at in life, in fact I think I’m doing pretty well in a traditional sense, I have a good job that has plenty of opportunities to progress up the corporate ladder, I have a loving boyfriend and we’ve put a down payment on an apartment together, I have a great relationship with my family and see them often. Everything is going according to plan.
I wondered if I was the only one who felt like this until one of my very close friends who turned 24 in December told me that she also hadn’t felt ready to turn 24. She had done an amazing amount of things in the last year but wasn’t quite content. Possibly this has to do with a fact we went to a school where overachieving is the norm. But even so, we agreed that it wasn’t that we hadn’t achieved outwardly, but that inwardly, emotionally, mentally we didn’t feel like we thought we should by 24.
Shouldn’t I be more content? Shouldn’t I be more sure of myself by now? Why don’t I feel like I have it all together? Adding to my sense of unease is the daunting expanse of future in front of me. From the ages of 5 to 23 I’ve been on an education conveyor belt, each year another step closer to being complete. Now that I’ve graduated and the shine of full time employment has worn off a little there’s just more sameness ahead.
From reading other musings on the internet it is vaguely comforting to know that actually not that many people feel content, sure of themselves and like they’ve got it all together and that it probably has nothing to do with age. You really have to work on yourself to get to that kind of headspace. So that’s what I’m going to do. At the risk of sounding cliche I want to find myself over the next year. I want to figure out what’s important to me and embrace it. The outcome is hopefully that by my 25th birthday I’m back to being excited about the passing of another birthday.
20 things before 25
- Identify my core values
- Go on a road trip
- Plant flowers
- Get promoted
- Do something big and spontaneous
- Pass my CA exams
- Watch the sunrise
- Go on a hike
- Read 26 books
- Refine my capsule wardrobe
- Save up for something extravagant and buy it
- Start moisturising at night
- Clean up my MacBook desktop and emails
- Accept that I’m in my ‘mid-twenties’
- Start financially planning for retirement
- Completely fill up my notes journal
- Write more
- Wear lipstick and perfume
- Eat dessert without feeling guilty
- Make a cleaning schedule and stick to it
- Get a massage