I just turned 26.
This number may not seem drastic to anyone else. And there may be a lot of people out there who wish 26 was the age they were turning.
However, for some reason, 26 is psychologically frightening to me. No longer am I "early-mid-20's"; I'm now "mid-late-20's." The fact that I'm significantly closer to 30 than I am to 20 is wigging me out and I'm noticing the gray hair more. It doesn't feel "cute" or adolescent that I still enjoy "Saved By the Bell" (which I totally do) or Hanson (mmmm....Taylor....). It feels slightly creepy, in fact. It also doesn't feel right that I will still stay up until 11 or midnight on weeknights, playing my banjo with friends or attempting to skateboard through the Lowe's parking lot. The fact that I still eat cereal or nachos for dinner several nights a week and that my bedroom is covered with polka dots and neon colors doesn't seem "26" to me. At 26, it doesn't seem okay to sleep in on Saturdays until 11 am or later (though, I don't know if I'll be able to change that at any age).
In my mind, "26" is the landmark age to be a legitimate adult. Time to settle in, buy a house, get married, have a career, pop out babies, drink coffee black and own sensible shoes.
But I don't want these things. Which is causing my current "quarter-life crisis." I have serious tension between what I've been trained "adults" do and the fact that I a) don't want to be an adult and b) don't want what "adults" are supposed to want. The house, the babies, the sensible shoes...none of that sounds enticing to me.
And maybe that's not what an "adult" is. Maybe someone else's perspective on "adulthood" is something altogether different and they can never own sensible shoes, watch Saturday morning cartoons and not know what they want to be yet and still absolutely feel "adult-ish." However, I'm not there. Thus the reason for the "crisis."
As with many people who go through "mid-life" crises, I too have taken up with a new hobby - just to feel young again. Or maybe to make myself think I am young? Rather than a sports car, though, I got a banjo. Which feels a little odd, considering that most banjo players have already surpassed their "middle-life crisis" (and beyond). Oh well. At least I'm managing my quarter-life crisis in positive ways. =)
What is your definition of an "adult"?
Have you experienced a "crisis" - quarter? middle? fifth?
If you have, how did you handle it?