I’m Turning 25 Tomorrow.

Jill Gutowitz
Dec 13, 2016 · 5 min read

I’m turning 25 tomorrow. This is my self portrait.

I compare myself to everyone. I cant stop spending money on food. There’s an app that will deliver gas to my house and I’m dying to use it but won’t let myself but GOD do I want to.

I spend hours swiping on tinder then ignoring messages from strangers and complaining about my imminent lifelong solitude. I’ve never made more than $45,000 a year. I spend every day sending thirsty emails to editors who think they’re better than me, smarter than me, a higher caliber than me, and then ultimately ignore me. Most times, I think they are all of those things.

I am in a rut. Being unemployed has weighed heavier on me than anything else. I feel like a failure every day.

I learned a lot this year. I came to understand what it meant for racism to be “systemic.” I open my mind to others’ thoughts and opinions and realities every day. I listen. I read everything from Audre Lorde’s writing to Megyn Kelly’s memoir. I try to understand where everyone is coming from. I spend every day trying to educate myself on racism, #BlackLivesMatter, immigration, abortion, government, healthcare, climate change, Islamophobia, crimes against women and LGBTQ. I vowed to myself that I would NEVER fall into the trap of white feminism. I am not like you, Taylor Swift or Amy Schumer. I will not stay silent.

Sometimes my friends and I hang out, scroll through social media and don’t say a word to each other. It’s just nice to not be physically alone. I haven’t felt fulfilled since I was in high school because I didn’t know what it meant to be fulfilled.

I envy 5-year olds because they haven’t experienced pain yet. They are barely even making memories and I envy that. No one is betraying them. I worry that I’ve spent my whole life taking my family for granted and seeking out shitty friendships and even shittier relationships.

I know that happiness is a state and not a destination but I wholeheartedly refuse to believe it. I want to make enough money to not worry about money when I have kids. I don’t want my kids to go to college. To be completely honest, I hope I only have girls. I don’t like men. They’re mean and rude and I’ve almost always had purely negative experiences by them. I can count two who haven’t let me down and one is my father and one isn’t straight.

I’ve been sexually coerced and pressured and pushed. I came out last year. I feel inadequate in everything I do. I hope Kendall Jenner comes out. I hate the generation before me for writing bullshit articles on millennials and how we’re poor and making bad business decisions: you literally did this to us, fuck you. And those “think pieces” you’re making fun of? You’re writing think pieces about hating think pieces, dumbass.

I’m terrified of dying. I don’t think this is my quarter life crisis because I don’t think I will live to 100. I used to think I would kill myself at age 40 because anything older than that was too depressing. Now I want to die of natural causes when I’m 96 because I have a newfound appreciation for old people.

I say “I” too much. I’m The Most. I’m obsessed with myself. I’m constantly trapped in a Catch 22 of, “I’m the best, how is everyone not woefully enamored with my face and soul?” and, “I’m disgusting, transparent trash and everyone can see right through my disgusting self.”

I love Twitter!

I want a lifelong companion like my grandmother had. I think our generation lost the value of that and are too worried about right now and swiping and fucking and leaving. I’m scared of everyone.

I saw a Washington Post article that said millennials aren’t having sex because they’re busy: I’m not having sex because I’m scared of everyone. I think everyone is garbage.

I wish everyone was LGBTQ: we’re more understanding and open minded and kind. Ok fine, I just wish everyone could be as open minded and kind as us. I want to see my people on TV every day.

I feel like my insides are constantly withering and black and twisted and dying. I have anxiety. I’m dark and I joke about it. It’s not funny. I started reading and running this year so I would feel like a person in the world.

I started noting the habits or ticks I have and have been trying to fix them. I pull on my earrings. I pick at my skin. The day after the election, I pulled out so many hairs in my right eyebrow that I now have a bald spot.

I asked my mom if she thought I was bipolar and she said “maybe.” I weaned myself off my anxiety medication over the last month because I was having more panic attacks than ever. I was more depressed than ever. Since being medication-free, I’ve written 75 pages of the screenplay I started earlier this year. It’s now finished. I’ve felt glimmers of hope and pangs of happiness. I try to muffle them because I know if I feel them, I will be disappointed when they go away.

There is never just one mental breakdown. There is no definitive “breakdown” like the one you hear about in movies. It’s a romantic idea of mental illness; you struggle until you can’t take it anymore and then you burst, and then you either die or you get better. I have a mental illness. I break down all the time. I can point to 2 or 3 that could have been that breakdown. I chose to push forward, although it didn’t feel like a choice. I just knew I couldn’t give up.

I know the person I want to be. I make an effort to better myself every single day. I’ve been laid off, dumped, abandoned and ghosted. I’ve obsessed over a girl who just doesn’t love me anymore.

My romantic love has been almost unanimously unrequited. While in a relationship, I’ve always thought about someone else. I’ve never been fulfilled by a relationship. I should’ve ended multiple relationships when they were shredding me from the inside out. I dragged them out and let them dump me. I met someone recently who changed my mind. I know I will let her hurt me too.

I think I’m a really good person. I’m infinitely understanding. I can always see both sides. I can’t see Donald Trump’s side, but that’s because it’s not a real “side.” I can understand where he is coming from, how he was raised to believe what he believes, and why he says the things that he says. He is not right.

I used to believe in right and wrong. I used to believe in the idea of “deserving” something. Now I do not. I believe I will always follow the “right” and it will never pay off and no one else will follow. I believe in grey areas.

I always try to see the good in people. I always try to stay optimistic. I have been let down so, so, so many times. I need to stand up for myself more, even if it means hurting people’s feelings. If there’s one thing I learned from 24, it’s that I’m allowed to hurt your feelings if you’re selfish, boundless, reckless, unaware and conceited. I’m allowed to do that because I’m allowed to set boundaries for myself. I need to know what’s good for me, where to draw the line and when to keep my distance.

I contradict myself constantly.

I am scared.

I am trying.

Jill Gutowitz

Written by

a haunted pair of overalls // humorist // writer @glamourmag @broadly @VICE

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade