On Turning 25, or What to do as I get older

I have a birthday next week.  No, this isn’t a subtle reminder or cheap ploy to get presents, it’s a cause for introspection and reflection.  Because this isn’t just another birthday, this one’s 25.  Yup, a quarter century, for all that means.  I am now in my mid-twenties, halfway to thirty, I am quickly becoming  …. an adult.

"You need to be strong now. You have ... a birthday." "Is that worse than Christmas?"

I don’t feel very adult sometimes.  I mean, I’m still in college.  Most of my friends have graduated, gone on to grad school at impressive Universities, or been hired by interesting companies doing jobs they love. I am still in college, and I’ve got a couple of years left.  Of course, I took two years off and lived in Germany.  That’s an experience I will never regret, especially as I continue to study German, but every once in a while I get just a little depressed and want to be done with school.

So, what do I look forward to with 25 years of experience at this ‘Life’ thing under my belt?

I am looking forward to school.  I am excited for classes to start next week.  I like getting back into the habit of studying and classes.  I’ve got some fun classes this semester that I’m looking forward to as I study German and English Teaching: Teaching Grammar and Usage, History of the German Language, and Literary Interpretation And Criticism.  Should be fun classes, but then, I’m a nerd.

I’m also looking forward to November.  For those who may not know, my wife and I are expecting our first little boy due November 30th.  If that doesn’t add to my hesitancies and fears about growing older, I don’t know what will.  Not only will I be 25, I’ll be a father.  I definitely do not feel ready to be a father yet, entirely responsible for another human being.  I have been married for almost two years (Anniversary is something else to look forward to in September), and as such I have been ‘responsible’ for my wife, but she’s an adult, and fully capable of taking care of herself, as she did for years before I came along.  This little son of mine cannot survive without me and that sobers a man.  I’m not too worried, too stressed out about it, but the prospect of being a father does require a change in lifestyle if nothing else.  But I’m looking forward to it, as well. Very much so.  I’ll have the opportunity to study language acquisition firsthand and be able to teach him German as a native German would learn it, by being exposed to it and not by memorizing vocabulary and grammar principles as many of us older students of foreign languages do.

And I’m looking forward to another 25 years (and hopefully 25 after that, and 25 after that) of enjoying this country, this world, this life.  They say that you’re only as old as you feel, and I’m not feeling old, I’m feeling grown up.  I am entering the adult world, I am becoming a productive member of society. People are starting to take notice and realize that I have something that I can contribute, something of my own that no one else has thought of before. (I will have the amazing opportunity in October of presenting a paper at a conference at BYU on the LDS Plan of Salvation and the monomyth.  To be a part of the scholastic community, able to discuss with others these intellectual ideas, is something I’d always hoped I could do, but never expected)  Adulthood is going to be great, I just know it.  After 25 years I am really looking forward to taking my proper place in the world.  I don’t need to be famous or important, I just hope that I can be useful and helpful.

"Today there's something to celebrate! Namely a quarter century, that's 25 years ... ME!"

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