Today is my last day of youth.
Tomorrow I turn 35. Starting tomorrow, when I fill out surveys I will no longer be able to check the box next to "18--34." I'll now be checking the box that says "35--44." Though it might as well be saying "35--death."
Crossing into 35 means, demographically speaking, I am no longer "young." According to advertisers and network execs and the like I am no longer in that coveted group. I am now (gasp!) statistically middle-aged.
It's funny. I don't feel old. I feel quite young. Playful at times, even. I really feel like I am just now truly comfortable in my own skin. I just now am starting to figure things out: how to be a mom, how to balance work and home, how to stay healthy and happy. I am having quite a bit of fun in this current phase of my life. Isn't there some mid-life crisis and existential angst I should be going through or something if I truly were middle-aged?
I have a few more lines around my eyes than I used to. And I have to highlight my hair to cover the smattering of grays. But I don't look into the mirror and see a middle-aged person. (Except for after that killer stomach virus I had at Christmas. I looked like the Cryptkeeper after that thing.) I see me. That bright-eyed young college girl is still in there. She may look a little more worn at times, a little wiser, but she's still there. She still likes to toss back a few on a Saturday night, to dance to some goofy top-40 hit, to spend quality time with a video game. And she's not ready to be called middle-aged yet.
So I'm rebelling. I'm gonna mark that dang "18--34" box for a little longer. You're only as old as you feel, right? Well, I still feel like I'm in my 20s. I've got a lot of livin' to do. I am not yet ready to cave in to middle-age.
I'm young, damnit.