the good NEws - Turning 26

I stand on the horizon of my 26th birthday, and I’m realizing that the days of birthdays adding something to your life are over. Now it’s time to start the taking away.

On your fifth birthday, you can count your age on one whole hand. You’re also eligible to attend kindergarten. You get to go to school.

On your 10th birthday, you’re no longer in single digits. There’s two numbers to your age, now.

At 13, you become a teenager. The adult version of a child. You’re entitled to pursuing only what is cool and listening to music your parents hate.

At 15, you can get your permit. (out here, 14 gets you a school permit, but not Maine, so I’ll skip it.) You can now drive, albeit with your parents.

At 16, you can get your driver’s license. Hello freedom. Your social life opens to new possibilities.

At 17, you can see rated R movies. Chances are you’ve seen rated R movies before you turn 17, but this way you can see them in the theater without an adult chaperone. Which, really, is the best way to see a movie at that age.

At 18, you can vote. You’re officially an adult. You gain one of the biggest freedoms in the world and are also able to enlist for a way to protect that freedom, if you so choose.

At 20, you’re no longer a teenager anymore. Which, at that point, you’re probably ready to ditch that label that you were so anxious to have at 13.

At 21, DRINKS! One of the most anticipated birthdays of them all, you can finally have alcohol. You compensate for lost time and the next day you swear you’ll never drink again.

At 25, you can rent a car. Just make sure you get the insurance on it.

And then there’s 26. From here on out, there’s nothing until senior citizen discounts, AARP and Social Security kick in. So begins the long stretch. And not only are there no privileges at 26, you lose something. Health insurance. *Cue dark, ominous music*. That’s right, on Sunday, I’m off my parent’s health care and on my own. *Checks calendar* Yup, looks like there’s a Friday the 13th coming up in a few weeks, too. Oh, goodie.

This might just be the final kick into adulthood. Sure at 18, you were your own adult and could legally make your own decisions. Sure you go to college, move out, then find a job. But as long as you still have that health insurance tie to your parents, you’re never completely independent. On Sunday, I will be. *Gulp*. Let’s hope I have the immune system to stay healthy, the understanding that I need to find a new plan quickly and the finances to allow it.

I don’t like 26 already and I’m still 25.

The good NEws is that maybe by losing something this birthday, I’ll gain something by way of having to be that much more of an adult and fully support myself. I don’t like the idea of it, believe me, but perhaps it’s for the good, in a way that I refuse to see at this point.

Also, Sutton, what gives with moving my birthday party back a weekend this year? I suppose you’re just trying to extend it a little longer. For that, I thank you. And at least the Putt-and-Roll is picking up the slack this year.

Also-Also, come check out Amanda Gasal’s concert on Saturday at 7 p.m. at the new arts center in Sutton. We’re excited for the space and this will be a great way to kick it off.

Thanks for reading.