24

Today is my last day as a 23-year-old. I’m not crying about it; I get to eat cake tomorrow! My family will call me an old man. My friends will call me an old man. I’ll call myself an old man. I can only imagine what strangers on the internet will call me. It’ll be grand!

I don’t know where the time has gone. I feel like I was just 10-years-old. Do you all realize that we’re in the year 2015? We’ve been referencing the 90s for fifteen years. Fifteen. Years.

Notice how no one ever mentions how great things were during the first decade of the 2000s? I guess we don’t like technology as much as we think we do. We’re all still reminiscing over VHS tapes and Nintendo 64.

Blu-ray never gets that sort of attention.

I think it would be cool to live until I’m 100-years-old. Why? I really don’t have a concrete answer. A birthday cake with a three-digit number on it sounds enticing. Is that a good enough reason?

Maybe I’m just curious to see what the world will be like when I’m that old. I’m assuming it will be completely different than it is now. I mean, at some point the number of Twitter and Instagram followers someone has will be completely irrelevant, right? Right!?!?

We can only hashtag and take selfies for so long.

But that’s all in the future.

When I look back on the first 24 years of my life the first thing that stands out is how many people I’ve met, or encountered. I’m including everyone from the moment I was born. The number has to be in the thousands.

I always found it amazing that I could remember hundreds of people’s first and last names, but had to really focus to remember a list of five things for an exam. Crazy how the brain chooses when to be helpful.

I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to friends. Everywhere I’ve gone I’ve been able to make friends. Some friendships last a long time, others don’t. It’s amazing how you could be so close to someone at school, work, or even on your own street, and then you’re pulled into different directions and the friendship takes a permanent break.

That’s life, I guess. Everything changes all the time.

As I get older, I can’t help but look around me and see what other people my age are doing. It’s probably the worst thing I, or anyone, can do. All we have to do is go on Facebook and scroll. It’s terrible, really.

If you’re looking for a young adult who has their future planned out, I’m not it.

If you’re looking for a young adult who is already happily married, I’m not it.

If you’re looking for a young adult who is madly in love and can see themselves getting married within a few years, I’m not it.

If you’re looking for a young adult who is posting baby pictures on social media, I’m not it. Wouldn’t that have been a plot twist if I said I was?

If you’re looking for a young adult who knows what they’re doing at all times, I’m not it.

I can go on, but you get the point.

Do most 24-years-olds have their life together? I don’t know. I think a lot of us stay quiet. It’s not really something to brag about.

Am I worried that I’m not “it”? Sometimes. How can I not? But at the same time I remind myself that everyone’s life moves at a different pace. Just because people I went to school with are already married and in a career they love, doesn’t mean I have to be too.

Plus, as much as I joke about being an old man, being 24-years-old is still very young. I don’t need to be “it” for many things.

Our age is only a number that calculates how long we’ve been alive. I think we forget that sometimes. We all go through school with the notion that as we continue to age, we move up to something more difficult. Every year of our life is like a checkpoint. A checkpoint we achieve with everyone our age.

#TeamEffort

Then we graduate from school, enter the real world, and all of a sudden the checkpoints are different and we don’t achieve them as a group anymore.

No wonder people go on Facebook and compare themselves to others. It’s what we’ve done for most of our lives. We all moved through school as kids born in the same year. We did everything at the same pace.

Now, we don’t. This is how it’s supposed to be.

At the end of the day, the only life I’m living is my own. It moves at a different pace than yours, yours, yours, and yours. Just like your life moves at different pace than everyone around you.

Yet no matter how fast our lives go, we all age one year at a time.

Today, I’m 23.

Tomorrow, I’m an old man.

Yesterday, I was a child.

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About Paul

This is the part where I'm supposed to write something interesting about myself and you'll read it and think, "That's not that interesting." So let's not do that and just think about pizza instead, on the count of three. One, two, three. Donuts. Now, wasn't that interesting?
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90 Responses to 24

  1. Happy advanced birthday Paulo. This was very good and personal, I liked it 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. posiworld says:

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY IN ADVANCE… CAPTAIN!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. datingflops says:

    Happy Birthday in advance! You’re not an old man, still a baby until you get to my age. I was married at 24 and pregnant with my first child. He turned 18 this year. So enjoy your time, live, learn and love! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. jasinrockgod says:

    I’m going to be 38 in a couple of months and I think these exact things. “Growing up” is just a state of mind…I hope I never get there.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. miss lievens says:

    Happy birthday! I took a break from WordPress but this brought me back. It just seemed like a conversation and I found myself nodding at every point you made. Plus, my birthday is this month too. #Twinsies
    Anyway, thanks for sparking that movie to write freely again. You dah bomb.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Niina says:

    Another September child, yay! My birthday is coming up next week and while I’m still ways younger than you (*cough* one year *cough*), your post sounded very familiar. I’m not on Facebook so I don’t get to see all the cool things my former school mates have achieved, but sometimes I do get worried about not being where “everyone else” is. But then I usually shrug and eat cake and forget about it. I’m happy with my life. Maybe not all day every day, but I wouldn’t change any of the bigger choices I’ve made so far.

    Anyway, before I really start rambling on, happy advanced birthday! And thanks for this post, it was a good read.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Happy early Birthday from a 1991 teammate 😉
    “At the end of the day, the only life I’m living is my own”

    Liked by 2 people

  8. anxietybug88 says:

    I thought this post was going to involve Kiefer Sutherland and an epic quest to rid the world of terrorists. Although I was disappointed to find that this was not the case, I still thoroughly enjoyed this post. It really hits home for me.

    I’m a little farther down the road than you are, given that I’m 27, but I still think about how much others my age have accomplished. I definitely feel like I’m dragging behind, but that’s life. You move at your own pace and do what you want to do, not what others are doing. Jealousy is just a natural part of that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Paul says:

      Yeah, if I had ever seen an episode of 24, I probably would’ve been all over the references in this post. Sorry to disappoint! I think there are a lot of people who feel the same way we do, but it’s never advertised.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. rebbit7 says:

    Happy birthday! Don’t worry about considering yourself as old; you’re far from that. You still have plenty of time in your twenties to have fun and discover who you are, so enjoy it while you can!

    Eat some cake for us, will you? 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Happy last day of being 23, I hope tomorrow is a good one 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  11. shubhada says:

    Happy birthday in advance!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. izza ifzaal says:

    Happy birthday Paulo. …
    All the things you mentioned were so relatable!
    Enjoy. .all will happen gradually

    Liked by 1 person

  13. KJ says:

    24? I always assumed you were older.
    We’ve been referencing the nineties for fifteen years? I never stopped to think about it! I always assumed the nineties weren’t that far away. Now I feel slightly older.
    This post has given me so much to think about.
    Happy birthday in advance, Captain.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Mary Ann says:

    I’m with you. It’s best to move at your own pace. I was the last one to do just about everything, and it worked out fine. 🙂

    I hope the cake is good!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. This brightened my day! Happy almost birthday!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  16. casondra2rey says:

    I can’t see any other way to live your life, other than in the moment. Sounds like you have a lot to be grateful for. I hope you have a great Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. heymeghan91 says:

    We all know Facebook is the devil! Side note: if I order a pizza to Canada it should be there by tomorrow right?? I’m sure you will post tomorrow so I’m not wishing you a happy birthday yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. The White Crayon says:

    Happy birthday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Nobody’s expected to have their lives all figured out at 24. Next month I’ll turn 23 and I’d be saying that exact same thing to myself. You probably know this song, but take a few minutes and listen to this https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tR-qQcNT_fY

    Happy Birthday, Captain. Have a good one. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Hell! I’m well past 24 and I still don’t have life figured out. The rules keep changing as do definitions of words. Just don’t sweat the small stuff! Happy birthday, Cap’. Live it up,

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Happy birthday you awesome person!!! P.S- did you know that you are a Virgo? I was always fond of Virgos. Wonderful people. Have a happy day!

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Liz says:

    Congrats on yet another year of living to reminisce about the 90’s! Or as I like to call them, the good old days. Happiest of birthdays to you, Paul. If I had any wisdom to share I’d gladly do so but I’m only 31 and have yet to acquire any. My parents still claim to have it all.

    Cheers to the Years! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  23. “Our age is only a number that calculates how long we’ve been alive ,” very well said. We tell ourselves we are getting old. In a literal sense, we are. In a literal sense, every turn of an age is “getting old”. When society looks at aging, anything above 25 is “old”, but who has the right to tell us at what age we have to have our lives put together? Who has the right to tell us that we are getting “too old” to be young. A number defines how old we are, but our minds define our age (in the sense that society expects us to be a certain something by a certain age). Be thirty years old and still not have your life all figured out. I’m joining your years soon, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Being this age is that time we are supposed to figure it out. Some people just figure it out sooner. So, lets start a club. We will call it “Just on time” because no matter how old we are, the day we have it all figured out we will be just on time. Not too late.

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Happy birthday, internet friend! *My Birthday Wish To You* May you eat all the cake and not get fat or sick!

    US Lifestyle Blog // http://www.rebekahkoontzsite.com

    Liked by 1 person

  25. Dream it Alive says:

    Happy Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  26. rebecak says:

    Happy birthday to you sir!! Hope today is truly amazing for you!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  27. You know, I’ve been on a break from blogging and I’m checking things out for the first time in a while, and if I seem to recall correctly- your last (2) posts were party posts. Something about blogiversary, and such. And you always want us to bring something. I think you’re just making up all these celebrations. Gotta watch all that cakey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Paul says:

      I don’t think I asked for cake this time though! haha. And yet this was the only time I actually ate cake after writing one of these party posts. Everything is backwards.

      Like

  28. Jessie Reyna says:

    Happy belated birthday!! Welcome to the 24th year! It’s exactly the same as the 23rd. What kind of cake was it?!! I feel like I haven’t had a birthday cake in years. I’m living vicariously through you.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Happy Belated Birthday!
    I think no one mentions how great things were during the first decade of the 2000s because nobody knows how to refer to them in short form.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Melanie (DoesItEvenMatterWhoIReallyAm?) says:

    Happy birthday Paul! I’ve missed you like hell my friend! 💙 Melanie

    Liked by 1 person

  31. girlunoccupied says:

    The reason we don’t reference the noughties is because it isn’t a generation ago yet. When we enter the next decade (when we’re both in our thirties) the references will come thick and fast. Mark my words, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. hmekeel says:

    Ooh those last three lines hit me hard man. I have the same problem on facebook. Ten of my friends got engaged or married this summer. It’s hard to remind yourself that lives aren’t comparable, and each journey is different.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Barb Knowles says:

    A student asked me the other day how old I am. I said 62. He was shocked. “You don’t act 62!” My reply? “I’m immature.” You’ll notice he didn’t say that I didn’t look 62 lol. You’re right, Paul. Where you are at any given point in your life will be exactly the same as some and diametrically opposed to others. Today, I wouldn’t change anything. Except maybe to look a teensy bit younger. Like 30, I mean 55.

    Like

  34. amorefado says:

    I really like this post. You put a lot of things into perspective for me. When I turned 26, all I kept thinking about was how I haven’t done much with myself. When I say it out loud, I feel so stupid, there’s a lot that I’ve accomplished. I just feel that way because it isn’t similar to what my peers have accomplished. Happy late birthday, I really hope it was a blast!

    Liked by 1 person

  35. Little Rants says:

    Belated happy birthday! I can’t believe I missed it!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  36. Wait till you turn 25 like me.. Soon to be 26…still trying to find a job…has no direction..can barely sustain an income for a dog, let alone a house….. damn…. At least you aren’t a quarter century! Already wished you happy birthday 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  37. weirdaweso3e says:

    Well I’m about to turn 27 and I still don’t have my shit together by the standards of the world. But I finally figured out it’s not what they expect from me that matters, it’s what I want for myself. So if I decide to never get married and have kids, then in their eyes I’m not mature or settled down or whatever…but to me I’m exactly where I want to be. Keep going at your own pace, then you won’t regret your major choices in life.

    Liked by 1 person

  38. It’s pretty late for me to be posting a comment here because well you wrote this entry 80 days ago (according to WordPress date).
    Anywhoo, I just wanna thank you. You see people like you inspire me to just write and see that there are people out there in different countries that are witty, funny and sensible. You sir bring hope to humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

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