26 was a funny age. I’m glad I saw it, I’m glad I’m letting it go. No pro necessarily outweighing a con, just a centredness, which, I guess, summed up 26.
My girlfriends and I were talking recently about regular millennial things – podcasts, tv shows, Mindy Kaling, partnerships, hip-hop hot yoga, when it dawned on us that 26 could be a more pivotal year sometimes than 25. And in more ways than the American loss of that comfort umbrella that we call a parent’s insurance plan (this particular group of girls were mostly immigrants anyway). Perhaps it is because 25 leads right up to it with all its expectation and promise; the expected quarter life crisis that always comes before or after that milestone age. Perhaps it’s the feeling of stepping away from something young, even if it is just your early twenties, and youth’s firm, unblemished hand is still firmly gripping your shoulder.
26 is perhaps the age, we decided, where you first realise you just might need to put your hand up in a yoga class when they ask about any pains or injuries. Because you suddenly realize you have some of those, and they might be lingering aches rather than fleeting injuries. And then there’s the second puberty – where did these hips come from???
It is for all accounts and purposes, supposed to be a filler year. Nothing of significant glamour is supposed to happen; nothing with significant weight is supposed to shift. And that is perhaps what makes it the most surprising – the continued realization that our calendars are arbitrary things and that wisdom and erosion can and do occur at any age. (But somehow these are aged concepts one doesn’t really linger on till after 25).
This last year I chased festivals and faffery, fortitude and fuel, fiercely. I asked new questions about old things – lineage, culture, status quo, and searched for peace, as the self-knowledge I had previously been seeking brought its fair share of turmoil.
In the end though, 26 came and left, just like I wanted. Cheers to 27.