We often make light of the inevitable “mid-life crisis” that happens in our forties. But what we don’t hear about is the life-changing event that happens in our mid-twenties that I like to refer to as a “quarter-life crisis.”
Turning 25-years-old is a critical age where the average woman fully matures, both physically and emotionally.
What I found in my 26th year of life was an overwhelming rush of changes in both my body and mind. As I finally accepted womanhood, the little bits of (then) annoying insights from my mother when I was young finally came true and/or made sense:
“Those sweets are going to catch up to you.”
“Date the smart boys in high school—they are going to be the good looking, successful ones when you’re older.”
“Fake baking will give you premature wrinkles.”
“Beauty is what’s in the inside.”
“Boys will respect you if you respect yourself.”
Of course, at the time, I thought my mom was full of you know what. So, like any young and naïve teenager, I ate all the sugar I craved. I went for the narcissistic jocks of my grade. And I tanned like there was no tomorrow.
Now, as a twenty-six year old, looking in the mirror, I have fat deposits that seemingly appeared overnight, sun-damaged skin from all the years working at a tanning salon, and that “boyfriend” that I was so certain would marry me as long as I put out—yeah, he doesn’t exist.
I now understand that my mom wasn’t trying to be annoying at all. And she certainly wasn’t fibbing.
Turning 25 seemed like a point of reflection, which meant both growth—and panic.
As I began to share some of my newly enlightened moments with my high school and college girlfriends, I uncovered that they, too, were experiencing similar thoughts. In honor of being a quarter of a century old (and so that no woman has to feel alone during this hard time), I compiled a list of some common thoughts, insights and crises. Cheers to aging and newly found wisdom, ladies!
1. No matter what you do or how hard you try, your weight doesn’t budge.
2. You are turning into your mother and you are proud of it.
3. You’d rather stay in with a bottle of wine in sweatpants than go out to the bar.
4. You’re interested in learning about your parents as real people.
5. You wear shoes for comfort over high heels any day.
6. You shave once per week—on a good week, that is.
7. You’d rather get to know yourself than a guy.
8. You look forward to the weekend so that you can catch up on sleep and clean.
9. Ten o’clock is late.
10. You all of the sudden have an interest in history and care about what’s going on in the world.
11. You wish you would have listened to your parents and teachers in high school.
12. Instead of caring about brand names and weight, you wish you would have learned about loans and mortgages.
13. Your vibrator is one of your closest friends.
14. You respect yourself, your mind and your body.
15. You weren’t actually fat when you were fifteen (or twenty-two).
16. You wish you would have been nicer to yourself.
17. Sex is special and worth the wait.
18. You stop to think that maybe God is a “She.”
19. Staying in to read a book is actually really satisfying.
20. All women are beautiful.
21. You have compassion for the girls you hated in high school.
22. Bleach blonde hair looks ridiculous.
23. You love your freckles.
24. You are ashamed Britney Spears was your role model growing up.
25. You regret turning down the “nice guys” in college. Why did I say “no” again?
26. Being successful and independent is more important than being tan and skinny.
27. Chocolate is sacred.
28. You wish you could go back to your Spice Girls club, where everything was okay.
29. You need to travel and see the world before you “settle down.”
30. Your mom is actually a really cool chick.
31. You wished you would have used sunscreen when you were younger.
32. You’re starting to notice wrinkles in places that you never even knew existed.
33. You wonder why you stressed out so badly about stupid things.
34. Your job is super unfulfilling but you need to pay off student loans so you make the best of it.
35. Time feels like it’s running out.
36. You regret taking out maximum student loans to have nice things and a tanning membership in college.
37. You appreciate your curves and booty.
38. Moving in with your boyfriend was a terrible idea.
39. On a Friday night you pick the nude t-shirt bra over the black lacy push-up.
40. You wonder if people actually still wear thongs.
41. Your body is beautiful in its own unique way.
42. Dick pics are disgusting—grow up guys.
43. You miss playing ditch with the neighborhood kid crew.
44. You call your mom every day asking a question about a recipe or what brand of cleaner she uses.
45. You don’t regret anything, but if you could go back you would do a lot of things differently.
46. You realize that being single for the rest of your life could actually happen—and that you’ll be okay.
47. When you have a negative thought, you tell that b**** in your head to STFU.
48. Life is short so you can’t waste it on negative energy.
49. Your self-worth doesn’t come from how you look in the mirror.
50. You know enough about death to know how to live.
51. The world isn’t all cupcakes and rainbows like you thought.
52. Instead of trying to squeeze into a size 4, you buy clothes a size up.
53. You go to the gym because you have to, not because you want to.
54. You wear your hair in a ponytail five out of seven days of the week.
55. The world doesn’t seem that scary when you know you have good girlfriends, a loving family and cheap wine.
Author: Kelsey Thompson
Editor: Alli Sarazen
Photo: Esra Erben/Flickr