5 things you realize in your mid-20s

As I close in on 25 and rapidly approach 26, certain emotions and realizations are beginning to take place that I haven’t ever experienced before. I can’t help but be overcome by a surging wave of sentiment and emotion. 

So here is some of what I’ve realized, as I say farewell to a time of sweet adolescence and embrace the inevitable arrival of mature adulthood.

1. Your Parents Won’t Live Forever

OK, maybe this was something you realized when you were 10, but by now, your parents have probably reached 50. This means you’ve likely had to hear about prolonged illness, frequent visits to the doctors, or chronic pain of some sort. Some might have even already lost parents or close family members. The inescapable truth that Mom and Dad won’t always post embarrassing things on your Facebook wall, or be there when you just need someone to listen and understand is pretty heartbreaking. Cherish each moment.

2. Stuff That Was Really Fun Two Years Ago Just Isn’t Anymore

Staying up until 3 a.m. and then sleeping in until noon is not only impossible, it’s simply unappealing. Maybe your ideal vacation used to include musical festivals and couch surfing, but now you’ve come to prefer something more thought-out, organized, and scheduled. Getting adequate sleep is like obtaining a super-power no one ever told you about.

3. Your High School Days Are Now Part Of Internet Nostalgia

I read a BuzzFeed list the other day reminiscing about the day in the life of a high schooler in 2005. Abercrombie, Instant Message, and pre-smartphone phones are now considered “vintage.” Time to pull out that 10-year-old mix CD and cry into your pillow to the tunes of Liz Phair and Howie Day. Because yeah, you’re getting old.

4. Thinking About The Future Is Actually Relevant Now

This is the time in life where stuff like health insurance, savings accounts, and budgets not only suddenly matter, they even make sense. Though dealing with these adult things is still weird, uncomfortable, and stressful to think about, it’s absolutely essential as you enter the next phase of your life.

5. The Next Few Years Have The Opportunity To Be Some of The Best Ever

All the ups and downs and craziness of being an early-20s post-grad have somehow evened out. You’ve probably landed a decent job by now, or have been/are in a solid relationship. Or you’ve started to figure out who you are and what you were created for. In your mid-20s, you’re still young and ambitious enough to achieve your dreams, but you’re experienced and mature enough to make them a reality.

I used to think I wanted to be a kid forever, but getting older has proven to be surprisingly awesome. Though it’s messy and sometimes an emotional roller coaster, it’s one heck of a ride.

Photo (Flickr CC) by 55Laney69.