Weeks leading up to my 25th birthday, I was a melodramatic super diva desperately holding on to college memories, while cringing at the fact that I would soon have to start my first real job. I remember telling family and friends that the only thing I wanted for my birthday was to pretend it wasn’t happening (I wasn’t kidding when I said I was melodramatic). Today, post college grads and millennials alike are taking their time transitioning into adulthood. Turning 25 today isn’t the same as turning 25 in 1990 or prior. Unfortunately, we’re reminded of this fact every time we have to do something as monotonous as being forced to pay our own phone bill, because twenty years ago our parents were married with two kids at 25.
I turned 25 in the most ordinary way. There were no obnoxious balloons that have since become a staple of the age, so the person whose birthday it is can hide the pain and anguish of being on the wrong side of 25. Instead, I woke up feeling nostalgic (again, melodramatic) and worse, pathetic, that at this point in my mother’s life, she had a child, a home, and husband.
Currently at the top of my to-do list is respond to emails and buy food at Target. God only knows if I can’t remember to eat lunch I don’t think parenthood would be ideal for me or my unfortunate offspring. As of today, the closest thing I have to a child is probably my car and even then it hasn’t been washed in months, and I’ve had 2 flat tires 5 months apart in the last year. Both of which my parents paid for, because I’m broke, which leads me to not owning a home. The only regular payment I’m currently making is my credit card bill, which is a culmination of purchases made at Target, gas stations, Sephora, and WaWa (evidently the only things I buy are food and makeup, which can pretty much sum up my life at this point). Besides the fact that my biweekly paycheck is abysmal, the amount of money someone at 25 with a decent paying job spends on rent is absurd.
Take for example my best friend. She has a phenomenal job in NYC, and lives in an adorable apartment in Queens. She also pays $15,000 a year on rent and utilities combined. Not to mention the cost of food (so ya know, don’t die), plus having a life and occasionally meeting friends for happy hour (so you don’t go insane), and buying additional everyday essentials in between (so you don’t get confused for a homeless person). I can’t explain how much I would love to move out of my parents house. I reminisce on how good life was when I lived in an apartment at college with my best friends (and the melodramatics continue), and how much I would love to feel that sense of independence again. Unfortunately, unless I want to give up food, a social life, or basic hygiene I couldn’t afford to live comfortably on my own. And if I can’t even rent an apartment then the thought of owning a home is as distance as getting married.
The closest thing I have to a husband is the janitor at work who says hello to me everyday, and maybe the weirdo at the gym who stares at my ass every time I do squats. Luckily, I have no imminent desire to get married any time soon. One of the great things about becoming a functioning adult later in life is there’s no rush to start a family. Even better is no one expects you to start a family, especially if you’re anything like me, in which case your parents just want you to move out. Ironically, becoming an independent adult who no longer requires any support (both financially and emotionally) from your parents requires a series of baby steps.