Once upon a time, the thought of turning 25 petrified me, especially the closer that I got to it. There had been magic in my teenage years that bled over into my early twenties. It was hazy and messy and confusing at times, because that time in your life usually is, but it was painted in the hopeful, shiny colors of youth. My future stretched out before me, infinite potential and opportunities just waiting for me to come along and snatch them up and make them mine. I was gonna do things. I was gonna be things. I was gonna paint towns red and be a Chosen One type wizard with an elder wand. But 25, that felt like a deadline. If magic had an expiration date, in my head, 25 was it. After that, the potentials dried up. The opportunities slithered away. From then on out it was all bills and sensible shoes and plain colored blouses. And slacks. Certainly there was slacks that would come into play after 25 and I wasn’t even sure where to buy slacks.
I’d have to grow up then. There’d be no excuses. I’d be given an eviction notice from Neverland and be forced into the world of adulthood and made to be responsible and mature and leave behind the silly, childish things that had been acceptable on the other side of 25. I wasn’t ready for that. I didn’t think I’d ever be ready for that. I dreaded having to be.
But then 25 came and went. I was pregnant with my youngest and I was keeping house while my husband played Airman for Uncle Sam. There was no abrupt shift in me personality wise. I still gravitated towards the junior section. I still lurked in the YA room at the library. I didn’t feel this driving need to switch out my tattered chucks for penny loafers or shoes with extra arch support. I was still me. Still geeky and fangirly and I understood pop culture references. I hadn’t changed and furthermore, I felt no pressure to. I had survived turning 25 and the magic was still alive, the future was still there as promising as ever. I still believed in it.
After that moment, I stopped dreading the idea of getting older. The closer I inched to 30, the more relaxed about it all I got. In fact, I became more comfortable with who I was as a person. By letting go of that fear behind getting older and having to let go of any semblance of my youth, I realized that getting older was an adventure all its own. I’m an adult. I can do the things I wanted to when I was younger and there was no one there to stop me or tell me no. Being an adult meant never having to play it cool because I didn’t have to. I could pay my bills and buy that collectors wand. I could stay up all night reading my latest obsession and get my kid off to school in the morning. I could buy shirts with fandom references and stylish boots. It wasn’t either or. It didn’t have to be either or. And I didn’t have to stop and settle for the sake of being a “grown-up.” I could keep growing and learning and reinventing myself and chase dreams.
So, today, as I sit here, newly 28 and staring down my 30s, I’m doing so with a grin wearing clothes from Rue21. Because, by Peter’s standards, I may be a grown-up, but I’m not budging from Neverland. I can still fight pirates and hang with the Lost Boys. Plus I can have candy for dinner and stay up as late as I want to.
There’s nothing more magical than that.
And to celebrate being that much closer to the big three-oh and the adventures that are waiting there: A TEASER! My first ever one!
Now let’s eat cake. Lots of cake. Cake all day long. Because we’re adults and we can do what we want.