What’s My Age Again?

Time for some real-talk on this here blog.

There isn’t much that stresses me out. School, no problemo! Work, bring it on! I’m one of those people who flies by the seat of their pants, way better at making game-time decisions than having everything planned out. So, that’s why it’s surprising that I’ve been stressed lately. Even more surprising is what I’ve been stressed about: The Future.

It all started the other night after a conversation I had with my mom:

Mom: I watched that show Property Virgins on HGTV the other day, have you seen it?
Me: Yeah, I’ve seen it. Why?
Mom: Well, I just noticed that a lot of the people on that show were your age. I was just wondering if you’ve thought at all about investing in property?

After vehemently saying “no” for about 15 minutes (and citing many credible reasons: I don’t want to settle down here, I don’t know where life will take me in a few years, I don’t want to be tied down by a mortgage, it’s super expensive to own in Silver Spring and I don’t want to leave the city, etc, etc), it really got me thinking.

Is this something I’m supposed to be thinking about right now? I’m 25 years old. Buying houses is for old people who are married and settled down. I’m 25 years old. Oh god, should I be thinking about getting married and settling down? A lot of my good friends from high school and college are getting engaged, and some are already married and homeowners. Am I late to the game? This isn’t something that has been on my radar. Is it supposed to be? I’ve never been one of those girls who is itching for that, and I’m still not. So, I can’t figure out why this is causing so much anxiety (and it is…enough so for me to feel compelled to write about it anyway).

Don’t get me wrong. I like my job, I like the company I work for, I like my friends, I like where I live…for the time being. But I also know that things won’t stay like this forever. My friends are already relocating, forging new relationships, and moving on. So what happens when everyone I like in this town is gone? Then what? I do want to get married, buy a house, have kids…eventually, but when is that supposed to be? Not just that, but also career wise: am I supposed to know exactly what I want to do for the rest of my life? Because I have no idea. I could just as easily stay in media forever as I could open a wine and cheese shop. I’d be happy with either. When am I supposed to decide?

Recently, I’ve had a few serious conversations about where I want to end up in life. What’s alarming is that, when prompted, I can’t honestly say what I want. I don’t know. I don’t have a 5-year plan because I’ve never been one for planning. My family moved around a bunch when I was a kid so I’ve never felt super connected to one place. Home was wherever my family was. I don’t even really know what I consider to be my hometown, I’m a Pennsyvirgitonian! Which may be why I’m having trouble picturing myself settling in one place.

I’m not even ready to settle down right now, so I’ve been trying to figure out where this pressure is coming from. I read a bunch of healthy-living blogs on a regular basis, and everyone seems so perfect. They are settled, married, living healthy, happy lives. Is it possible that I’m jealous? Not only that, but being young in the professional world, I am constantly surrounded by people who are older than me. A lot of people who I work directly with (although they are all older than me…but not by much) are married and most have children. They talk about them all the time, and sometimes bring them to the office. They all seem to have their lives figured out. Do I feel left out? My sister is expecting her first child (a boy!!) and while I’m very, very excited, I can’t stop thinking about how she is only 4 years older than me. When she was my age, she was already married for a year.

Then again, people may very well look at my life and wish that they could live free and spontaneously like I do. The grass is always greener on the other side, is it not?

I feel like I just graduated college. But really, not that┬árecently. Sometimes I still feel like a kid (this might be due to the fact that I watched 2 hours of Hey, Arnold! the other night, but whatever), and other times I feel like a full-fledged adult. It’s like I’m in some sort of weird limbo.

I’m 25 years old. Is that too old or too young to be thinking about all this stuff?

No cliche question to ask. If you have any thoughts, feel free to share.