My Quarter-life Crisis

Let me tell you why I am having a quarter-life crisis.

I’m turning twenty. Can I not?
My best friend wants to go out clubbing that night. Can we not?
I have a lot of girlfriends, and they are all so excited about my birthday that in my head I’m repeatedly screaming, ‘Can we, PLEASE, not?’

I’m the youngest in my group of friends who are all at least 20 and up to 25. And when I tell them I have the sweats for this birthday worse than any other, they shrug it off like every year because they know me to be the anxious, private person I am- who turns off her phone a quarter-hour before the dreadful midnight that solidifies my scared soul’s terror of entropy.
Yet, they want to party.

I like to believe I am a favorite of sorts. Not to brag, but it’s not just a belief, it’s kind of a fact- I am a favorite. Despite the awkward in me, despite the don’t-call-only-text rule, despite me being me, I am loved. And I am so grateful. Indeed, I hate to disappoint, over-achiever as I have always been. Well- not anymore, because college sucks but that’s a no-brainer.
But my friends and my family don’t seem to understand that I have a legitimate fear of my twentieth birthday, as valid as my fear of heights or my fear having to interact with a really good-looking person.

And night after night I try to decipher why I feel the way I feel, and why I can’t be ‘normal’ and why I like to stay at home but it’s so comforting to be asked to go out. And I fail every night like it’s a pattern, now. I have so many questions to answer to myself I almost lack the time or the energy to think of those that others ask me. I’m trying to be myself, I’m so terrified of losing my individuality.

Maybe being this mother-friend is how I am myself and now I won’t be the fashionably youngest, the juvenile one with the smart mouth. And I know that isn’t a real thing, I am still the same person with the same dope meme stash, but for some reason the end of the sound ‘teen’ in something so insignificant as my age seems to scare me as it manifests everything that I am supposed to be but am I so far from that I don’t know if I can even make the climb.
I believe in the power of thoughts and abilities and hard-work. I also like to believe I have all my priorities right, and my logic straight, and my feet on the ground. Yet I feel so nervous for something I wholly abolish as a day of any relevance.

It might seem unreasonable, it does to me most of the time, my illegitimate quarter-life crisis. If I could put it into words, I would tell you that this isn’t a feeling in the gut, it feels like standing in a pit, knowing no way out of these repetitive sentences, but I don’t seem to know my way around words anymore.

There are so many sounds around me that the ringing of my phone takes more than a second to be registered. The sound I like best is the Shin-chan theme song. I don’t mind pineapple on my pizza. I hate the concept of loafer socks. I like beanies. I like winters better than summers but I am never well during winters. Every day is a cheat day for me, I love brownies. And blondies. And anything I can eat. I like all kinds of movies, even documentaries. I don’t know much about science, or math, but I wholly believe in them, like ghosts. No, wait…

I’m nineteen. My hair is green (no, literally, it’s dyed green,) and my old-soul is in a very unfit but a young body that has years to go till it ceases to be, and I am still getting pimples like a preteen (why Bhagwan Ji, why?!?) so, for the umpteenth time, I am telling myself that it’s no biggie.
So I suggest you repeat after me: I am a strong, intelligent, independent woman living with her parents, with so many things to do and so many places to be. This quarter life crisis is only the beginning, my anxiety and unhealthy obsession with TV shows have so much more to give me.
So many more dogs to pet, so many more foods to eat, so much more black-out-drunk sessions before I truly quit, this quarter-life crisis thingy is only the beginning of me.
Well, damn.

Kirti Suri for Nutkhatt
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