"ANOTHER YEAR, GONE"

—Albus Dumbledore
  1. Well, this is it. The final minutes before I move up an age bracket have drawn to a close.
  2. ✔️25-35.
    DOB: September 13, 1991; 3:17AM EST.
  3. How did I get here?
  4. How did I come so far and yet not far at all?
    I'm listing this from my childhood bedroom, sitting in my pink frilly underwear on the sleigh bed I received as a birthday gift in seventh grade. Are you sure I'm 25 years old?
  5. The thing is, it's not that *25* is so big and old and scary.
    Not at all.
  6. The honest and true thing is, the last time I moved up an age bracket I was a freshman in college, wide-eyed and ready to meet my future husband, get engaged senior year, graduate and get married in a whirlwind weekend, move into a home of our home, pop out a couple of kids, the whole nine.
  7. Yet here I sit years later, having accomplished exactly one of those things: earning a degree. A Bachelor's degree. Also known as useless.
    Not that I'm sorry all that cliché three-swings-and-a-ring crap didn't happen. Don't get me wrong. Definitely dodged a bullet there.
  8. Even worse is thinking about the *next* time I'll be moving up age brackets: 35.
    Dun dun dun.
  9. I feel like I can be forgiven for being a screw-up at 25. It isn't that uncommon.
    Perhaps not ideal, but doable.
  10. If I'm still this clueless at 35? No one that I know, and I include myself in this, will see me as anything more than a tragic sick-girl story—despite the fact that my disease has nothing to do with my failure to succeed—"you have to cut her some slack, she just has it worse than you."
  11. I'm not looking for sympathy here, I'm just trying to articulate, mostly for my benefit, why it is that 25 is intimidating me so completely.
  12. But I think that's it:
  13. Suddenly everything just got really real, like I'm in the home stretch here and if I don't pull it together in time I lose.
    I honestly don't know. Maybe I'm right. Maybe I'm talking out of my ear.
  14. All I'm saying is that this afternoon I put powdered sugar in my somewhat-dirty hair in a desperate attempt to hide how much work it would take to fix it, and I feel like that's a pretty good summary of what my life is like these days.
    Here's hoping 25 carries a few less mistakes and lots more grins.