Do you wonder what is the feeling of being 27? Our volunteer Dora who is turning 27 this month will give you a clue.
A couple of days ago I was talking to my dad on the phone and I told him that sleep is the only thing that makes me fresh and energetic.
Then he responded to me in his usual manner that I am so young that of course, I need a lot of sleep and also some healthy food. As if I were a baby who just sleeps, eats, and poops. Some time ago one older lady when hearing that I am 26 literally called me a baby, looking at me with her mother-like eyes. On the other hand, when I go with my 18-21-year-old friends for a drink, in a funny manner they call me “so old”.
Hardships of being 27
Now I am about to turn 27. There even is a club called the 27 Club which is famous not for very positive reasons. It contains well-known musicians, artists, actors who died at the age of 27. Drugs, suicides, accidents, and other unhappy endings but not die from old age.
You might wonder, is the age of 27 so troublesome or is it just about the fame – some people cannot handle fame. There is a term called quarter-life crisis which means that you are in your twenties or up to the middle thirties and you experience anxiety about the direction and quality of your life.
It means you are not quite sure what to do next because you have kind of achieved what you were pursuing, you start reassessing your relationships with people and comparing yourself to others – if by chance they have already accomplished some main goals of life and you are still stuck somewhere in the middle of nowhere with a scary possibility that soon it will be too late to catch the train.
As I said, some people think that I am still very young. Probably I am. But now my perspective is different from how I was looking at the world a couple of years ago.
When 20 was closer than 30, I thought that the world is my oyster and I have all the time in the universe to reach my goals, explore, to find my way. However, at some point, this annoying thought got stuck in my mind (or rather a feeling) that time is running out and very soon my life will be over the moment I settle down and stick to my routine instead of learning new things.
Because that’s what people do when they reach 30 – they settle down and they don’t want more than they already have, right? It’s the idea of stagnancy which scared me off. Nevertheless, in the end, even a more unexpected thing happened to me which I can say is my present condition of being 27 years old – I started wanting to settle down.
Old like the world…
As I have mentioned in the beginning, sleep makes me happy. So each evening I go to sleep at 10 pm and wake up at 7 am. If by chance my sleeping hours must be disturbed (there is an event which lasts until 10 pm and then I need time to go back home, to eat, to prepare for sleep and it’s already 12), I feel terribly sour and dying from sleepiness.
If God forbids, I happen to go to sleep at 2 am after a party, I still wake up at 8 am because that’s how my body feels like. I need my 2 hours in the morning to drink a coffee, a smoothie, have breakfast, etc, instead of waking up 20 minutes before leaving the house.
I don’t want anymore to give my time to random people; I want to spend it with my old friends or new ones who I feel good. I don’t want to work random jobs and I don’t feel so excited anymore about random traveling. I started enjoying being at home, reading, learning, or just sipping a tea, might be from one to three hours just contemplating this and that. And I started thinking about a routine as about a style of living which means not only stagnancy but peacefulness. Monks always have a routine and that doesn’t make them less spiritual; actually, it makes them even more spiritual.
On the other hand, it might have been just a natural consequence of my recent life. This year I had so many changes and transformations that in the end, I need to stop and take a break. A change starts meaning nothing if it itself is a routine. And now a real routine is a change.
…or finding myself?
So am I old now? Probably the people who are in the stage of stability fear are horrified what will happen to them when they turn 27 – they will be some wracking old bones. But instead of using “old” or “young”, I would choose here the words “older” or “younger”. Because in the end age is relative.
Hopefully, I won’t get into an accident, and drugs or suicide is not my case, neither. However, there is truly something about this age of 27. I felt that on the way to it I changed as a person. I can mention the greatest things about my change: I became freer from inside, more peaceful, and most important – I started to believe more in the future.
All my life I was listening to others around me and after some years I realized that their experience is just a little piece of the puzzle of life, one window to the world. In fact, the world is much bigger.
Getting older doesn’t mean turning more stagnant or wanting to do less. I liked my dog when he was a pup and was so playful and energetic but then I also liked him when he got older – more affectionate and wiser. We are just becoming different. I do experience the crisis of what to pick next and sometimes I do compare my life to others’ thinking that I am way behind my peers. But also I am starting to feel less and less afraid to grow old.
I know that I said that I don’t want changes anymore. And I mentioned some wracking old bones.
Maybe it means that new dreams just haven’t come to me yet.
And this will change too.
For those who have already reached their 30s and still are feeling like moving around, I wrote an article about volunteering opportunities abroad for people over 30.