Remember how I turned 28 a couple months ago?
Well, apparently you would be the only one.
In the last few weeks, I have, loudly, confidently and quite wrongly, referred to myself as 27. In a couple different instances. In a few different ways and under a handful of different circumstances. But in all cases, the threading tying them together was the fact that somehow whatever point I was making hinged on the fact that I was 27.
Except, you know, I’m not.
I have never been someone particularly concerned with aging. I would venture to say that I don’t have the same relationship with aging that some women have. It doesn’t concern me in any real way. I don’t fear losing my looks; my mom is almost 50 and looks not a single day over 30 years old. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram and have seen pics of my mom I have posted recently, you know this is no exaggeration on my part. I have never subscribed to the theory that getting older somehow meant you had to stop living or give up any part of yourself or your life that is significant to you. My maternal grandmother was fairly lively and gorgeous through no less than half a dozen fights with serious illnesses, right up until the day she died. My paternal grandmother travels more than I do, so much so that it is a miracle if I ever catch her in town when I go home. She is driving and remodeling her house and regularly goes to get her nails fancied up in the shade of pink she is partial to, replete with nail art. These women have always been the face of aging to me; growing older in years but more graceful, more fun and self-possessed with every candle added on top of their birthday cakes.
So, I am not entirely sure why I’m freaking out.
The truth is, many of the theories I had about my life and how it would go and what I would be happy with and what I would like it to look like are being tested. I suppose this is the definition of quarter life crisis. But I find that applying the theory to the everyday occurrences of living and loving and drinking is stressing me the entire fuck out.
I have no problem with the fact that I am 28 and unmarried. Or without children. I am not sure if I will ever get married and have children. And despite the admitted pitfalls that could come from either of those choices, I am comfortable with what that life would look like. And I know that no one else’s opinions or opining about my ever closing conception window should matter.
But I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel a little pang of what the fuck?! with a twinge of are they right? every time someone incredulously asks me why I am neither married nor mothered and what am I waiting for? and I don’t have forever, you know. In the interest of completely transparency, I find myself wondering if perhaps these women, older and wiser, know something that I, still in the infancy of adulthood, don’t. Or, are they just passing off to me the socialized trappings of womanhood they learned as girls and perpetuated as young women? You know, the very same ones I worked to free myself from when I was younger.
Freedom, I think, is a funny thing. It opens your mind. But you are in fact so open minded, so clear headed in your rationale that you cannot just blatantly eschew the very way of thinking you have been freed of, because you must always be open minded enough to consider the possibility that maybe they were right.
I suppose it’s the kind of thing everyone must decide for themselves, living and loving as they see fit, seeing which of their youthful theories about life still hold true, which ones don’t work and must be discarded. It feels like this is where I am now.
There is a revelation that comes to you around 25 and continues at least until you are 28 and hopefully ends sometime in the near future because I am fucking exhausted. Whatever it is, it’s decidedly uncomfortable. It’s confusing. There is an element of unknown which, for people who crave control like candy as I do, is impossibly infuriating. And perhaps even more so, intimidating.
Maybe this is the reason an entire year keeps falling conveniently out of my head.
At any rate, whatever is going on at this juncture in my life, at 27 with a side of a year and some change, is- right now- not the greatest period of my life. I may very well look back on this time fondly and be grateful for the lessons I am learning now.
At this very moment though? I am not grateful. I am paranoid that my forgetting how old I am is a sign that my memory is starting to go in my old age. Because 28 is old when you don’t know what the fuck is going on.