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I turn 25 on Monday. Plain and simple, no frills about it. Okay, there are a few frills thrown in there, but it’s mostly just the restaurants I’m planning to have dinner and brunch at over the weekend. The point is, despite the fact that I’ve been kickin’ it on this planet for a quarter of a century, I don’t feel the need to do it big or have any sort of flashy celebration. It’s just another year older, right?
Yeah, you could say that. Or you could say that this is the first official year in my mid-twenties, when I should no longer have to “act” like I’ve been there; I should have been there and done that for most things. I’m probably overthinking it, but the fact is there’s a lot of stuff out there that I haven’t done and am not sure how to learn. It’s not like there was a class in college that taught you how to act appropriately in a business setting—and if there was, I did not take it.
Obviously, we spend our entire lives learning new things, and the experiences I’ve had along the way have taught me a lot. But either way, here are some things that I’m still not prepared for at age 25.
1. Public Transportation
On January 22nd, I laid rest to an old, old friend of mine: my car Gloria. She was 15 and couldn’t pass the emissions test in Illinois anymore, and when you can’t pass the emissions test, you can’t renew your vehicle registration, and when you can’t renew your vehicle registration, the Chicago P.D. will apparently send people out to hunt down your car and give you tickets two days in a row at 3:17 in the morning. I sold Gloria, hoping to donate her organs to other cars in need.
The problem is, now I have to take public transportation. And despite having one of the most thorough public transportation systems in the country, I have never taken the time to learn the etiquette. Of course, I’ve taken the train before but never on a regular basis. What am I supposed to do during rush hour? Push people out of my way? Wait for the next train? What happens if I miss my stop on the express bus? I’m fucked.
2. Physical Aging
A few months ago, I found a gray hair in my beard. It was exhilarating, one of the finer moments I’ve experienced while growing up. A few days ago, I sneezed and tweaked my back, and have noticed that my knees are starting to hurt more from walking up stairs. This is not a fine moment. In fact, it’s a moment that I’m definitely not okay with.
Look, I’m fine with growing up…mentally. I think being able to make decisions based on experience rather than impulse sounds like a sweet deal. But I’m starting to get to the point where I just can’t act the way I used to. Sure, none of us can drink like we used to, but I’m talking about going multiple days without working out. Shit, even if I go one day without going for a jog, I feel like everything I do is in slow motion and anytime anything touches me it sends ripples across my body. I imagine it only gets worse from here.
3. Renting A Car
Now that I’m 25, renting a car is supposedly a lot cheaper. I wouldn’t know because I’ve never rented a car before, so I can’t really compare the before/after prices. That being said, just because I can rent a car now, definitely doesn’t mean that I should.
It’s not that I’m a bad driver by any means. I trust myself behind the wheel 100%. It’s the other people that I don’t trust. The fuckers who don’t know how to parallel park and sideswipe your car, or the ones who inch just a little too close at a red light. The thought of borrowing a friend’s car and having that happen is stressful enough. Going through a rental car company where there are…fees? I’m not sure what the fees are for, but I bet there’s a lot of them, and I don’t want to have to pay up for someone else’s fuck up.
4. Finding A New Job
I’m not exaggerating when I say that finding my first job out of college was one of the most difficult times of my life. I went six months after graduating doing the same routine: wake up, work out, and spend 6-8 hours researching and applying for jobs. They say that finding a new job is a full-time job, so I treated it like one.
Now that I’ve been in the working world for almost two and a half years, I’m ready for a new challenge and more professional responsibility. It’s not that there’s anything wrong with my current job, it’s just time for a change. But god damn, when I think back to last time, I dread it. The only difference now is that I have a job, so why not see what’s out there?
5. Being The Responsible One
Ever since I was a kid, I always thought people 25 and older to be responsible. To be the people who know what to do in an emergency, who could give sage life advice, who could be in control of a situation without asking questions. Not sure why I picked 25, maybe it was just a number I liked. It’s not like there’s anything significantly different than being 24. I’ll admit, I’m not getting hammered on as many random Tuesdays anymore. But as far as being “The Responsible One,” well, the jury’s still out. .