(Self) Portrait of the Artist (?) At Twenty-Five

Twenty five things about turning twenty five.

1. It feels impossibly grown up. Like the last barriers to being a proper grown up have vanished.

2. Even if all that means is that I can rent a car, which I’m not terribly interested in doing.

3. Also, now I cannot say I am in my early twenties.

4. I have to start saying mid-twenties.

5. I’m not sure how this happened.

6. It’s the sort of age–25, I mean–that at 15 seemed impossible.

7. Like there was no way I would ever reach it.

8. And if I did, I certainly expected it to look different.

9. When I was in high school, we had an assignment in which we had to create a timeline of our ideal lives. Recently I found mine.

10. Apparently I should have graduated from college, be teaching English in a high school, and be married.

11. It is impossible to even imagine any of that, right now. Especially the married part.

12. I think over the past few years I’ve gotten a better and better sense of myself.

13. And I like it.

14. Mostly. There are a lot more things about myself I like now then I liked ten years ago. Although really, who likes a lot about themselves when they are 15?

15. I feel old. I look around at the kids at church–the youth in the youth group, say–or the lifeguards at the pool, and they all seem impossibly young. Even the state troopers seem really young.

16. And yet I can remember how it felt to be that age so clearly.

17. The thing about being a child is that you feel as though anything is possible. And the thing about getting older is that you realize that to say yes to one thing is to say no to another.

18. These are really hard decisions. The world starts shrinking.

19. I also feel too young to be having such a sick dad. I don’t feel old enough to be dealing with that. Although I don’t suppose anyone ever does.

20. Over the weekend I re-read A Wrinkle in Time and three of its sequels, and I pored over YA lit that I enjoyed. How strange, to re-read the books that shaped me.

21. Do you remember that first moment, when the world seemed suddenly open, everything there for the taking? I feel that less and less as I lock myself into things. Things that I love, things that I think I want to spend my life doing. And yet I miss that feeling.

22. I am really, truly, deeply thankful for everyone who is reading this. For everyone who has or will comment on my facebook page, to wish me happy birthday. For the kids I take care of and their parents, who came over for cupcakes. For friends.

23. And I am really grateful for my sisters, my parents, my cousins, all these people who remember and hold me as I was and as I am. I suppose there are ways my analyst fits into this category too.

24. I told Zoe it was my birthday. She seems unimpressed and much more concerned about when food and a walk will appear.

25. Twenty-five. Damn. It just seems impossibly old. Like I should be a real grown up now. I think I’m going to pass on some of those real grown up things. Say yes to some, and no to others.

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