Awfuller than all the awful things that ever were…*

Tomorrow is my birthday. I usually try not to highlight that fact, but I feel like my readership here is small enough that it’s not like having it announced at a cheesy chain restaurant or anything (not to minimize the awesomeness of all of the people reading this!! You are fabulous, and I appreciate you putting up with my rambling, more than you can imagine!) As long as I can remember, I have hated having “Happy Birthday” sung to me- a friend who has similar feelings says it’s because you’re getting a lot of attention for not really doing anything (perhaps we should all sing Happy My Birthday to our moms instead). For me, I think it ties into my innate shyness and introversion, although I have trouble reconciling that with my need to be at the center of attention almost any other time. And, of course, the fact that I want my life’s work to be performing in front of many people. So maybe it’s just my own personal weirdness.

Anyway, this upcoming birthday has gotten me thinking a bit about age. Now, I know I’m not old by any normal, adult standards – I have to add “adult,” since I once really impressed a group of kids by saying I remember a time without DVD’s – but I keep getting reminders that I am, in fact, getting older. Today, for example, I auditioned for the part of a 17- to 20-year-old. I’ve always looked young, so it wasn’t a huge stretch, but it got me to thinking about how long it’s been since I was that age. Even my little brother is older than that now. When I was 17, it was still the 90’s. (On a similar note, a kid who’s 17 now was born in the 90’s- how’s that for scary?)

Of course, this trend of people my age getting married and/or having babies is also a little off-putting. I was talking to a pregnant friend who’s birthday is also coming up, and she mentioned how old she feels, hitting a quarter century and having a baby. I don’t know how she feels, but seeing someone a year younger than me turning 25, married, with a baby on the way makes me feel pretty darn ancient.

I guess, though, that’s it’s not so much about feeling old as it is about feeling like a grown-up. I think living in the city helps keep alive that college-kid feeling, especially if you live in a dorm-sized studio as I do. So when your peers start having careers instead of jobs, or buying homes, or giving birth to another generation, or any of those grown-up things, it can be a bit jarring. I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to be a grown-up yet… maybe next year.

*Bonus points to anyone who understood this reference. For the rest, it’s from Peter Pan: “For growing up is awfuller than all the awful things that ever were! I’ll never grow up, never grow up, never grow up, not me!”

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