When you see “24” coming my way, please send it packing

NdeyKumbaDembaI have always been on the bandwagon of “age gracefully,” “age is a beautiful thing.” However, I find myself dreading the number 24.

Why? That is because I will be turning 24 May of this year. No, I’m not crazy, “it just a number,” I’m aware of that.

I used to think the same until I saw 24 coming my way. I understand age is relative.

Someone reading this might think, “What is she talking about? 24 is pretty young.” Another person reading this might say, “Yep, you are getting old.”

I don’t think it helps that I’m surrounded by so many “young people.”

It is not so much about getting old that scares me about the number; I just don’t think I’m ready. I do not feel 24.

I still have a lot of growing up to do and it appears age is coming way too fast. It’s as if I have to keep up with my own age.

I guess, I figured at 24, I’ll be more mentally and emotionally mature. I don’t feel like I’m there yet. I don’t think I had a certain picture of what I’ll be and where I’ll find myself at 24, but this is certainly not where I want to be. Attending college, unmarried (or at least some indication pointing towards that direction), with a scattered vision of what next.

I told an old friend of mine about how I was feeling about turning 24 and he shared these words with me: “Perfection is not easy to come by. It’s more like a delusion than a reality. Life needs a balance and it comes in sequence without a perfect order. The day you get to appreciate the balance would be the day you feel fulfilled.” Oh, I forgot to add, a wise friend indeed.

As deep and profound as this sounds, I don’t think my feelings and hesitation about aging are born from a place of nonfulfillment and ungratefulness but rather a distorted mental picture. I would like to think it’s common but maybe not.

I would die to see my face when the day comes. I will definitely be grateful and thankful no doubt. I mean I have a lot to be thankful for. It is true that many people did not make it to my age and they probably wished they did and had plans that never came to fruition.

Apart from the feeling of gratitude, I can’t promise there will be a smile on my face. Okay, maybe a little grin.

Deep down, I hope 24 proves me wrong and turns out to be the best possible number.  For now, I’ll try to put positive thoughts into motion so I don’t feel like crap when the day comes.

What’s next? The only sure thing is “24.”

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