The age of 25 seems objectively boring and unimportant as I approach the final weeks before I become it. You are not in your "early twenties" anymore, so there are some societal constructs that come into play. You can't slam jägerbombs without your bar companions casting a judgmental glower in your direction. You can't eat a pile of Taco Bell in bed at four in the morning without that nagging "you know better" voice souring the mood. When you roll into work in sunglasses and a hoodie and pants that look like pants but are really pajamas, your coworker's fancy boots click on the floor a little louder than usual.
When I started working at Swash as an intern, I was 20 years old. I was also an idiot. I will probably say similar things about "now me" in five years. That is a phenomenon that I am just barely coming to grips with – the me of yore is a real dummy.
I've bounced in and out of the city of Denton a few times in my life. I was born here, but didn't ever actually live here until college. And then, I was here for a bit, then left, then came back, then left, and now I'm back. This is the third attempt. I think each time it gets better. The living situation is better, my social circle is stronger, there are more "cool things" happening in town, I am better at my job, and I am at a deeper peace with myself as I learn more about adulthood.
There is an unspoken but potent stigma attached to "moving back" after leaving town for a bigger city. It's viewed as failure. A regression. But I think that my actual regression was leaving for Dallas a little over two years ago. It was brash and selfish but not in a cool way that would have been fulfilling. It was masochistic to endure a rush hour commute, incessant noise, overpriced everything, and an invisible landlord for the sake of going to shows, eating at superior restaurants, and appearing like more of an adult that lives in a "big city" to my Facebook friends list.
Hindsight's a b-word.
So here's to 2016, a year that will see me turn 25 right here in Denton, a place that feels like home. Although it's an innocuous and underwhelming milestone in my mind, I have an instinct that it holds much greater significance than I am allowing myself to buy into yet.