Now that I’m 25…

sarah-bday.jpgAge is a silly thing. I work with someone who claims to play with his age the same way I play with my gender, and I think it’s a fair analogy. Age is a biologically-based number with lots of social constructions built up around it. I don’t really get to change my age. But I get to play with it.

Today I turn 25, and I’m not being quiet about it. Thanks to the beauty of social networking websites, hundreds of people are aware that it’s my birthday and are taking the 30 seconds out of their day to congratulate me on it. I’m being ambushed with text messages, emails, direct messages, and facebook wall notes. (Thank god I’m not getting that many phone calls.) I’m over the phase of trying to pretend it’s not my birthday and feeling neglected when people don’t magically remember it. I have no problem telling you. IT’S MY BIRTHDAY TODAY. I don’t want gifts. Just acknowledgment. Just jump up and down with me for a second. Help me make it a little more real. Help me convince my subconscious to make a shift in self-image. Help me close the door on age 24.

What’s the difference between today and yesterday? Not a year, that’s for sure. The difference is a social construction. “25” means something different than “24”. It means a quarter of a century. It means I can rent a car without paying the Irresponsible Driver Penalty. It means I’m in my “mid-twenties” instead of my “early twenties.” It means I’m three years older than the average age of college graduation, which means I could, legitimately, based on mainstream standards, reasonably do the jobs I do now.

At some point in my life, I fell under the impression that I wouldn’t be taken seriously until I turned 25. I called bullshit on that notion a long time ago, but I still noticed the raised eyebrows. Now that I’ve hit the number, I’m done with the eyebrows.

I’m 25 years old with 11 years experience building websites and reading poetry at microphones, and four years of self-employment in the tech industry. I’ve never lied about my age, but I’m done with trying to walk like I’m older than I am. I get to be 25 now. And all of the middle fingers I’ve been giving social constructions for the last handful of years can relax. I made it. So there.

If you like this post and would like to receive updates from this blog, please subscribe to the feed. Subscribe via RSS

9 Responses to “Now that I’m 25…”

  1. moya Says:

    my entire third decade was spent trying to convince people that yes, in fact, i AM older than sixteen and therefore can be taken seriously. so, yeah, good luck with that relaxing of the middle fingers thing. ;)

    my son turned 25 at the end of march. he graduates from university in 2 weeks. i think he’ll tell you that 25 is looking good, even in its early stages. i hope it’s the same for you!

    happy birthday, sarah!

  2. Karen Rayne Says:

    You know what, dear? I did the same thing. And I expected people to stop making comments about my age when I high 25. But they still did, and at 28 they still are. Sigh. Now I’m hoping that 30 will be the magical age when I won’t be “the young one” any more.

    But regardless of people’s response to your age, I hope today lives up to the expectations that starting with duck-shaped-pancakes give to a day. :)

  3. Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah Says:

    Happy birthday!

    25 was a great time. At 35 I miss it. I hope you get the respect you deserve.

  4. teh internets Says:

    dear saradopp, this is teh internets calling…you’re right. you can stop fighting now! that is all. carry on with birthdays.

    <3 internets

  5. KungFoozzzz Says:

    Our household shall celebrate this day in your name with a long round of uber loud Rockband gaming. Hallllooooooooooo….Sarah Dopp’s birthday! We are heah to RAWWWK!

  6. motherbumper Says:

    25 was a significant year for me because all my friends were freaked the fuck out that they weren’t married or out of grad school or making millions. Me? Nah, I was just glad to not be classified a kid anymore and said f*ck that crap, I’m doing just fine. Here I am almost 15 years later and I’m still just doing fine. Those chicks I hung around back then? Still high-strung, cube-farmed, keeping up with the Joneses – don’t miss hanging with them at all.

  7. Amy Gahran Says:

    Speaking as someone whose retirement plan is to be a crotchety old bat sitting on the deck of my cabin with a shotgun across my knees, I’d say you’re on a good path :-)

    – Amy Gahran

  8. HeatherLyn Says:

    (surfed over here from your Twitter, hi!)

    It’s funny, I’ve been trying to pass myself off as much older since I was about 14. It helped that I looked 18 when I was 14, looked about 23 when I was 18. But now that I’m 26 (and this has been going on for a a year or two) I’m just totally fine with being ME. I still act more mature, simply because I’m not a typical stupid-partying-collegiate-drunken-irresponsible 20something. I’m just sort of ME. I’m smart, I make good choices, I don’t hurt others consciously.

    For so long, I was terrified to tell people my age, because I invariably got the “Oh, I thought you were older!” and then their reactions to me changed. They didn’t take me as seriously, suddenly I was less of a person because I’d had fewer years on this planet.

    Now, I just don’t care. If someone is actually going to judge me on my age rather than my personality or my thoughts or my actions– that’s their problem. I am simply ME, at any age, for better or for worse.

  9. sarah Says:

    Thanks, HeatherLyn! I completely relate.

    The other day, I got my nose bent out of joint again because someone was blatantly condescending to me about my age… and it bothered me for about half an hour, until I finally decided that it was their problem, not mine.