On February 3, I hit the big 2-5. According to the experts, I have officially entered adulthood. (Cue the marching band!) Growing up, arriving at the quarter-century mark always seemed like an eternity away; a milestone that would be marked by unparalleled joy, celebration, and an incredible sense of achievement. The reality, I fear, has not been so rosy. In fact, recently turning 25 has only served to reinforce the notion that entering adulthood is one of the most cumbersome though partially enlightening experiences one is bound to face in life.
Still, I can’t help but feel like I’ve accomplished something as major as copping a top prize that puts a smile on my grandmother’s face. But there is a range of unsettling emotions I’ve encountered over the past two weeks that are hard to explain. And I’m not referring to my legendary mood swings. Probably just nerves about getting older and being only five years away from 30. (Sometime last year, I swear I spotted two greys growing close to my forehead. The horror. They’ve since disappeared).
More than ever, these days I worry about fulfilling my dream of publishing close to a dozen books and globe-trotting at a rate that would put George Clooney’s Up In The Air character to shame. I am wracked by guilt that I have not yet read for a second degree or saved as much in my bank account as I promised myself I would.
In today’s world, obsessed with fame, success, dollars and cents, what should have I accomplished by age 25? The basics, I suppose, including solid secondary and college education and some amount of financial independence. In my case, though, there’s also the harsh truth that you can’t truly rely on a soul but yourself.
And then there are some important life lessons: It is wise to cherish and make maximum use of your gifts (I don’t exercise my terrific vocal chords as often as I should); achieving true success involves considerable hard work, commitment and sacrifice. I have always prized my youthful appearance, vigour, drive and vast reservoir of energy. And while I don’t sense those dwindling, I can’t help but wonder how long I’ll be able to hold on to them.