we all look forward to growing up. we all look forward to getting through school, graduating, and getting that first job that kicks us into the career we always wanted to do.

unfortunately for most of us, the age of 23 happens before the rest of that can happen. think about it for a second. at the age of 23, chances are you’ve already graduated college. you’re probably in your first, maybe second year out of school. you’ve got a ton of energy to get going.

you’re ready to get that job and impress the guys in suits.

you’re ready to start making some money so you can afford to take the girl you met last week out on a date to somewhere other than applebee’s.

you’re ready to just get going.

except, chances are, you’re stuck running in the mud.

if you’re 23 in 2009, that situation likely sounds so far from what’s really going on that you wanna punch the guy that’s getting to live it. the truth is, you’re probably at some crappy job that you’re just doing to make end’s meet. you’re hoping to god you can find some place that’s even hiring so you can at least send in your resume and possibly get in. you don’t have the time nor the money to take that girl to applebee’s, much less anywhere else. you’re working 50 hours a week to pay the bills and student loans. you can see the future and when things get better, but for right now, running in the mud is getting tiring.

and then, to make it so much better, they throw christmas on us. they remind us that this is the time of year where we get presents for the people we care about. they tell us it’s the time of year where we are supposed to spend time with the people we love the most. they remind us of what happens sometimes when you can afford to take the girl to some place other than applebee’s by showing us commercials for rings every five seconds.

they remind us that we’re too broke to get nice stuff for our friends and family.

they remind us that we don’t really have time to spend with our friends, and that’s assuming our friends are still in our town and haven’t all gone other places trying to find a job.

they remind us that the ring commercials are really annoying when you’re broke and single.

they remind us that we’re running in mud and that it’s getting tiring.

christmas time is weird when you’re 23 and single. and that just makes me more thankful for the non-weird times.

i’ve been able to set back a little money to get the people i care about things that maybe aren’t nice, but they aren’t cheap either. that’s more than this time last year when i was in that first year out of school. i think that’s pretty cool.

i haven’t been able to spend much time physically with friends, but thanks to al gore’s greatest invention the internet, i’ve been able to talk to them at times through twitter, facebook, ichat, and e-mail. we’ll throw in text messages in there too because al gore would probably take credit for that if we asked. i think that’s pretty cool.

i’ve been able to enjoy my “crappy job that i’m just doing to make end’s meet.” the truth is, while i’ve hated it at times, it’s not really that crappy at all. i work with some really cool people and while it’s not something i want to do my entire life (or even after july for that matter), i’m enjoying it for now. i think that’s pretty cool.

with as weird as christmas time is when you’re 23, those are three things that i can at least be thankful for. sure, there are a lot of things that i wish i could change and that i wish were different, but the facts of the matter are i can’t change those. i can’t change the fact that christmas at 23 is weird, but i can at least appreciate the things that aren’t weird.

so for you guys that are in or around this christmas at 23 stage, take a step back and try to find a thing or two that isn’t weird and focus on that. this time of year can really suck if you let it. it can get really lonely and depressing if you aren’t careful.

knowing that, try and make a conscious effort over these next four weeks to enjoy the joyful moments, to embrace the chances you get to spend time with those friends and family, and make the most out of five dollar christmas presents from the clearance aisle at target. if you can do that then you’ll be one step closer to christmas at 24.

and that’s gotta be at least a little more normal, right?

say your prayers and take your vitamins.

have a nice day.