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Issue #2: I Have the Power

February 19th, 2012 by

I have the power.

Why does everyone start calling themselves ‘old’ as soon as they hit twenty-one? As soon as you’re legal in the drinking world the party’s over?

Everyone out there is whining about age, calling themselves old, but still trying to stuff themselves into twelve-inch Homecoming dresses from the teeny-bopper section of Macy’s. What gives?

Did you know our brains don’t physically mature until our mid-twenties? Our frontal lobes are still developing until about age twenty-five. Oh man… as a teen who was still finding entertainment value in He-Man and Legos, you have no idea how excited my inner monologue was to hear that. (“Claire, there’s still hope for you! Yesss…! Maybe you’ll grow up one day, after all!”)

So, everyone around me is wailing, “Agh, I’m so old! A quarter-century, it’s all down hill from here– My body’s starting to break down, I can feel it! I wish I was back in my prime… Time to resign myself to a settled, domestic life of ‘wake up, go to work, come home, have a beer, fall asleep… Because that’s what old people do. Stay up past midnight on a work night?! What are you… a teenager?” And all the while I’m slapping them upside the backs of their heads with, “Idiots! Get a hold of yourselves… Our lives are just beginning! Our bodies have just barely become all that they were meant to be. Your mind is finally an adult– it’s finally yours. It’s time to figure out what you want in this world and then go out and achieve it!”

You’re not wholly yourself until you’re at least twenty-five, and yet people are already turning in the towel.

So then I realized… Maybe some of the people around me in their mid-twenties are old. I know that it echoes of ‘mid-life crisis’ to say that “your age is only a state of mind,” but to an extent that saying holds true. If you tell yourself something long enough, you’ll start to believe it. If you begin to see yourself as past your prime, that’s likely what you will become. And it seems like more and more of the people around me have resigned themselves to the idea that they have already witnessed their great, enjoyable, adventurous years, and it’s time to turn themselves out to pasture into boring, mundane responsibility for the rest of their days.

Responsibility really doesn’t have to be mundane.

Writing for this column is a responsibility… and it’s anything but mundane.

But there’s also another part to this outlook on adulthood. I was never the girl who rushed off to experience “all the things that grown-ups do” when I was still a kid. I never jumped into the middle school relationship or the exploratory sophomore binge-drinking party. I never went to school in a tube top/miniskirt combo, and I never slipped off with my friends to go smoke pot in the back lot after our B block class. I never adopted curse words to replace all my prepositions, and I never had sex– not even just to see what it was like. I guess I was just never in a hurry to “grow up”. Why rush through everything all at once? Why desensitize yourself in a few swift years? I always felt like there would be plenty of time for all of the grown-up things later. You know… when I was actually a grown-up. And there is. I still have a plethora of new experiences to anticipate and no need to rush.

Yes, the real world is tough. Some days may be better than others, but nothing is out of reach. Success requires effort– real effort– and if it didn’t, it wouldn’t be worth it. I’m still so excited for my future. There’s still so much to do, so much to learn, and so much to see. I took care to pace myself and I’m still going strong. The only difference between now and then is that my head is finally on straight. I can think clearly with a trustworthy sense of judgment. I’m able to fathom action, reaction and consequence. I think before I act. I’m much less likely to put myself in a dangerous situation, and I’m much less liable to make decisions I’ll regret later. I’m able to picture myself with a much more accurate sense of the world and how I fit within it. And I’m free.

Is there no one else that thinks this is great?

As far as I can tell, there’s really only one true difference between fifteen and twenty-five: At fifteen you’re old enough to begin fathoming your dreams, but at twenty-five you’re finally old enough to start making them happen.

Of course… you can still enjoy all that silly, not-so-grown-up stuff too. Seriously, it’s okay. You don’t have to be ashamed. Last weekend my friend and I stayed up until three in the morning eating chocolate and watching He-Man. We laughed until we cried. It’s the best of both worlds.

Author: Claire

Claire writes Sexless And The City,'s bi-weekly column detailing the thoughts and experiences of a woman who's twenty five and waiting. Currently, Claire's starving artist soul lives inside the body of a corporate woman, but she's okay with that for now; it just means she gets to stay up late working on her own projects with a bowl of shrimp curry instead of Top Ramen. Aside from creative endeavors, Claire loves trail running, learning, history, and traveling.

12 Responses to “Issue #2: I Have the Power”

  1. Meghan says:

    You sound like my conscience, and I think you are awesome. Please never stop making these! 🙂

  2. ThatGuy says:

    WOW! So immediately after I read this I messaged someone “Claire’s writing is freaking amazing”

    You hit so many points, Claire! I don’t know where to begin. I must confess that I was one of those ppl who would crack jokes about getting old but you’ve definitely put a new perspective on it! I love the themes of delayed gratification and effort/personal responsibility.

    “stuff themselves into twelve-inch Homecoming dresses from the teeny-bopper section of Macy’s” hahahaha!

    You’ve set the bar rather high, Claire! keep it up!

  3. DD says:

    Wow that was so good!!

    “As far as I can tell, there’s really only one true difference between fifteen and twenty-five: At fifteen you’re old enough to begin fathoming your dreams, but at twenty-five you’re finally old enough to start making them happen.”

    I wholeheartedly agree. Personally I love growing up. I enjoyed my childhood and on through HS and college but I’m enjoying being out in the ‘real world’ too! So many new things to do and learn!

  4. Claire says:

    Meghan – If my conscience sounds like your conscience, then that is pretty awesome! Thanks for the comment, and I will keep writing these as long as there is a demand 🙂

    TG – Yikes! I hope the bar isn’t so high that I can’t clear it next time! I’m glad you enjoyed this one– and aw, thanks for the compliment! (It made me blush and grin like an idiot) I actually do use the age line, but always in sarcasm… and usually in a group of people who are all older than I am 😀

    DD – Thanks, DD! I’m right there with you on growing up… and I LOVE continuing to learn even though I’m no longer a ‘student’… half the time it doesn’t even matter what I’m learning about. I just like expanding the canvas, so to speak 🙂 When businesses ask me if I qualify for the student discount, I always want to tell them that I don’t… but I SHOULD…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Claire. I ♥ You. That’s all have to say♥♥

  6. OneHappyGirl says:

    Claire. I ♥ You. That’s all have to say♥♥

    Sorry that was me the anonymous “poster” there.

  7. sashasteeel says:

    Sasha they call me I wrote that topic sexless in the city that would be the BIG APPLE where anything goes and nothin stops from morning till morning- you can find your groove anywhere- temptations never end from anything and anyone just let your mind imagine ………. Sexless in the City…… Trust me its alllll a game- New York short stories…….. Yes I will post more the do’s don’t and yes waiting till marriage because it does work- Fashion 7th avenue workin wall street, hitting the club scene never sleeping and politely saying noooo to the rich the famous the hot ones not ones to every ethnic group from young to old-
    From college fraternities to all night Rave dances ……. You can do it- Because in the end you have so much less to worry about less disease, less stress less drama need I say more???

    For those of you who are on the fence about the game its the Three L’s Like, Lust and Love…. You need em all to have a satisfying trusting relationship- and friends….. women do not think like men……. never have and never will ——
    Great book to read by Steve Harvey the comedian- Act like a Lady think like a man
    As a tall attractive blonde with a fun attitude and personality, free spirit lovin life men and all the trappings of the good life Hamptons NYC Jersey Shore see it all been there but didnt do that……..

    Follow the rules by Steve Harvey- They work

    Say yes…….. when does it stop…….. say no respect yourself don’t settle cuz waiting is a game…
    marriage is that much more exciting……. There is a reason there is 50% divorce rate- If you had the best you wouldn’t be looking for better………

    Sasha Steele posted Sexless in the City cuz been there done that……

    peace out

  8. Franchua Sevein says:

    I ♥ You. You are amazing! Definitely 24 and my life is beginning Now!!!

  9. Good Read says:

    I think it may be that when you hit your mid & late twenties your brain is truly fully developed. You start thinking and making choices in a different way. A way that seems more like your parents , more like an adult and less like a child. “old” if you will.

  10. Goody says:

    “At fifteen you’re old enough to begin fathoming your dreams, but at twenty-five you’re finally old enough to start making them happen.”

    So true! I look forward to reading the rest of your blog.

  11. Phoenix says:

    Thank you for this article! I really needed it.

  12. Sunshine says:

    Amazing!!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂 Thank you God and Thank you Claire!

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