"Alright Sparky... make sure you meet with your new insurance agent, sign all of those forms I sent you and PLEASE do your research to find a good, reputable doctor in the area" my father said as he wrapped up his lecture. "Well, getting old is the absolute worst" I replied before telling him that I loved him and hanging up the phone.
Looking at all of the important documents sitting in front of me, I couldn't help but feel overwhelmed. As I thumbed through my benefits package, signing on the appropriate lines (which were conveniently flagged with post-it notes thanks to my mother, whom I over-nighted the packet to for advice and direction the week before), I felt as if a part of my youth was swirling quickly down the drain. "When did it reach this point?" I thought, trying to remember the days when I didn't have to worry about license plate renewals or 401K plans.
Putting down my pen, I looked up into the mirror in our living room. "Am I getting wrinkles???" I asked myself as I inched closer to my reflection, scanning the person in front of me, searching for any sign of crows feet or grey hairs. When I had sufficiently covered the entire front of my head, looking for signs of greying, I took a step back and really looked at myself.
Before me stood a young woman. A person who was well traveled, well educated and someone who is just reaching the brink of her greatness. A girl who is still trying to pinpoint what it is exactly that makes her the happiest, but a woman who is well on her way to knowing where she wants to be in life. I stared into her eyes and into the depths of her soul, acknowledging the struggles it took to get her to this place, to this point in life. And I smiled as I realized that the hints of crows feet next to her eyes are merely pure reflections of the number of times she has laughed, cried and smiled in her lifetime thus far.
Sitting back down at the table I looked again at the paperwork in front of me. "I feel old, but I still feel so young" I thought as I signed my life away, glancing at my fluorescent pink nail polish and terrible grey on grey attire.
As I climbed in to bed later, I realized that it wasn't just the influx of serious paperwork that brought on this minor freak out. Tomorrow I turn 24 years old. And while I feel like I am still that young girl who wears pink nail polish, running around with a side ponytail and not a care in the world, I am beginning to realize the power in the wisdom that comes with age. It has been amazing to me to see how fast time flies and how quickly things in life can change. I am looking forward to my twenty fourth year as I am sure it will bring great success both personally and professionally, regardless of the fact that I am one step closer to getting off of my parents' insurance plan and that much closer to my quarter life crisis, which is sure to come on the eve of my 25th birthday. I am not only confident in where I am in my life, what I am doing and the direction that I am headed, but I am certain that I will make room for change and the adaptation that will come with each year ahead. And most importantly, I am comforted in knowing that I don't have everything figured out yet. Because like my benefits package, my search for a new doctor and a new Colorado drivers license, I am still naive, inexperienced and in my opinion, young. And to be honest, that is perfectly alright with me.