The Fear of 23

The Fear of 23


If at first you don’t succeed, try try again. Well, if you don’t succeed after that, then what? This is the question that haunts my busy, busy brain. Giving up is clearly not an option, however when self-diagnosed with bad luck, there’s not much hope. Between dodging mom’s laser beams, avoiding seeing people you really haven’t wanted to run into since high school and there’s that nasty car accident from last week that apparently needs to be taken care of, I’m not very excited for this extra year tagged onto my life come January 20th.

Another year older, another year wiser. 23 is an interesting age. You’re no longer a child, young adult is kind of acceptable as a title but adulthood is expected to kick in. It’s the age where balancing your love for fun and that pesky maturity thing tapping you on the shoulder becomes reality. 21 is the year for fun – drink your ass off and get into too much trouble because you can. 22 is the year for basking in self-pity for being a (professionally) unemployed college graduate with the world ahead of you but no money to explore it.

Now, 23 oh how the number scares me. It’s absolutely intimidating almost to the point where it’s exciting. There’s nothing special about being 23 depending on how you personally value yourself. I am an educated, creative girl stuck in a world of student loans, car payments and pizza pies. So for me 23 is a step into the unknown. For me, I feel as though I am somewhat required to grow up a little more, starting now and each year forward. I need to come into my own professional being and subdue the little 21 year old inside that would rather be taking shots of tequila on Thursday nights and sleeping until 2 on Fridays. I don’t think I’ll ever fully lose that little, fun girl and I don’t think I need to. She’ll be jumping around and dancing when I finally land that real world job, she’ll be greedily licking her lips when I get that first real paycheck, and she will be egging me on for a drink when all the stress of life catches up with me.

As scary as 23 seems, it’s a new experience and I am a change chaser – I live for new experiences. I’m ready for the next step, but then again I’m not ready for what it entails. Although I’m still close enough to 21 to get away with mischief and fun, I’m also nearing the age of inevitable ejection from my parents’ health insurance. It all comes down to strength. Strength to try, strength to try again, and the strength to believe I can succeed. Twenty-three, come at me.

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