One month ago today I turned 24 years old.
This is the first time in a long while that I’ve had a birthday where I don’t feel my age.
It’s not so much the concret things. I think my current life lines up well with what I want at 24 years old; I’m married, have my own apartment and I’m finishing up graduate school.
But I don’t feel like I’m 24. I guess I just thought I would be more mature and have all the answers. I think of somebody who is 24 as an adult, fully out of the experimental/dramatic/immature early 20’s college phase.
But I don’t have all the answers. I don’t feel like I have life experience.
Maybe that’s because I am still in college. I haven’t really lived in the “real world” yet. I’ve never held down a full time job and I don’t have a career yet.
And even though I’m married, and have been for 4 years, it’s almost a protective factor that keeps me from fully experiencing life. I’ve never had to live alone, pay my own bills, buy a car by myself, etc. I’ve had a partner in my life since I was a teenager. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jeremy for being my partner, but not having to face life alone keeps me sheltered.
Maybe that’s why I still feel so young at 24, so inexperienced.
Although, in other ways, I feel advanced for my age.
Like at work. I’m 24 and I’m a therapist. People come in and pay me money to help them solve their problems in life. Even though it’s just an internship right now, for all intents and purposes, I am working as a professional in a career at a pretty young age. I’m treated with respect and considered as competent as the paid staff.
Maybe it all comes down to expectations. What I expected I would be like, what my life would be like, at 24. Were those expectations realistic? What were they founded on?
So next year, when I turn 25, I’m not going to expect anything from myself. As long as I’m happy, I’ll consider 25 a good age for wherever I am in life.