Age is Just a Number Series: Author Hilary Grossman talks turning 25

Welcome Hilary Grossman, author of Dangled Carat, and my friend and fellow Booktrope author to my blog. Hilary compares how she imagined she would feel turning twenty-five with the reality of her feelings on that day. (PS: Happy Birthday, Hilary!!)
It all started in September.
I wasn’t able to put my finger on what was happening at first.  All I knew was that something simply wasn’t right.  I was unhappy.  I was scared.  I was frustrated.  And slowly but surely a feeling of dread began to wash over me.  With every very passing day the feeling got stronger, encompassing every aspect of my life.
In early November I left work early. I  wasn’t feeling well. I had chest pains. I couldn’t catch my breath.  My mom picked me up at the train station and drove me to my doctor.    He didn’t react the way that I thought he would. He gave me a quick exam.  Rather than confirm that I was dying from a heart attack, he simply said I was having a panic attack.
He helped me calm down.  My heart rate returned to normal and I was able to breath easily once more.  But I had to admit to myself and my mother what was causing me anxiety. And by this time I already knew.
November 10th was right around the corner.  My birthday.  I was turning twenty-five and I was dreading the day.  How can I be twenty-five and feel the way that I did?
Hilary at twenty-five

Hilary at twenty-five

Thanks to all the wonderful books and movies out there I had definite ideas of what twenty-five should feel like, and my life was nothing of the sort.  Forget about not having a fairytale existence there was nothing about my life I was happy about!
I spent the last few years studying for and passing the CPA exam. Why I kept wondering? I hated my all consuming job.  I was always on the road with no control of my schedule. I worked ridiculous hours. I was bored out of my mind half the time and the other time I was walking on eggshells because my boss was the modern day version of Dr. Jekell and Mr. Hyde. I never knew what to expect when I showed up for work.  As a result, stomach would constantly be in knots.  I used to wake up every morning and count down the number of days I had until I either retired or died.  What happy mornings those were!
Of course I didn’t have a boyfriend at the time either.  I was okay with that (or I told myself).  What I wasn’t okay with was I had no social life. None, zero, zip!  All I did was work.  Most of the year I worked for the CPA firm 6 days a week. But I also continued to wait tables nights and weekends.  And if there was a lull in that excitement,  I added the occasional babysitting gig into the mix.  #partytime
This was not what twenty-five was supposed to feel like.  Was it?
I started to express my feelings to others. I learned there was a term for what I was going through – a quarter life crisis.  Knowing I wasn’t alone, I started feeling slightly better.  And after the dreaded birthday passed I decided to make some changes in my life.
I cut back on waitress shifts. I started to hang out with friends.  I started to date. I allowed fun back into my life. And when I was presented with an opportunity to shift my career path I jumped at the chance.  Slowly but surely I found happiness.
I am turning forty-one on November 10th. I wish I could go back and tell my twenty-four year old self that everything will be okay. That the sacrifices that were made then would allow for much successes and joy later.  But I can’t. And even if I could, I know that I wouldn’t listen…
Hilary in present day

Hilary in present day

Twitter @feelingbeachie
Dangled Carat



  1. Isabella Louise Anderson on November 10, 2014 at 10:23 am

    Great post, Hilary! Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY! 🙂

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 6:32 am

      Thank you so much Isabella!

  2. Christina Boyd on November 10, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Happy birthday & congrats on another successful trip around the sun!

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 6:32 am

      Christina – thank you so much! love it “successful trip around the sun!”

  3. Mary Rowen on November 10, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Happy birthday, Hillary, and thanks for an honest and interesting post. I’m so glad you’re not working at that terrible job any more and have found much better things to do!

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 6:33 am

      Mary – thank you! I am so glad I am not there either.. it was awful!

  4. meredithgschorr on November 10, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Thanks so much for participating in my tour, Hilary. And happy, happy birthday. Having seen you in person, I would have pegged you for early thirties. Not that 41 is old. At all!!

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 6:34 am

      Meredith – thank you so much for having me! I am thrilled to be part of this super fun series! And you are way too kind 🙂 but honestly I’d also peg you for early thirties too!

  5. chicklitplus on November 10, 2014 at 11:38 am

    Great series Meredith and Happy Birthday Hilary!! 🙂

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 6:34 am

      Samantha – thanks so much!!!

    • meredithgschorr on November 11, 2014 at 9:48 am

      Thanks Samantha!

  6. Age is just a number…. on November 11, 2014 at 6:31 am

    […] pains. I couldn’t catch my breath… To read more, check out my guest post on my friend Meredith’s Schorr’s blog    Did you like this? Feel free and share!!! Follow The following two tabs change content […]

  7. Norma Beishir on November 11, 2014 at 7:10 am

    Hope you had a terrific birthday, Hilary!

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks so much Norma… I had a great birthday weekend but yesterday work day from hell… Doing a do over tonight!

  8. loubelcher on November 11, 2014 at 9:57 am

    Great post HIlary… Honest, Brave and perfect for your birthday.

    Have a great day.

    hugs, Bugsy and Knuckles and Lou

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 4:59 pm

      Lou – thanks so much… It’s funny as I wrote this post all those feelings came back… It is amazing how some ages really hit you

  9. Rorybore on November 11, 2014 at 12:13 pm

    Yeah, my younger self would not have listened either. Although, 25 was good for me – mine hit closer to turning 30 after 5 years into that job and realizing I hated it. And bad boys actually were not that much fun, or interesting any longer. I do wish I could go back and tell that girl “no, actually you are not happy. change. now.”

    • Hilary on November 11, 2014 at 5:01 pm

      Leslie – I think our jobs play a major role in our ages…. I think if I was happier at work 25 may have been easier (or maybe not). And why did we all think the bad boys were the best… UGH! And why do I think if we could tell our younger selves this great advice we’d blow our older selves off…

  10. Cody-Cat Chat (@CatChatCaren) on November 11, 2014 at 5:35 pm

    love love love Hilary and being 59 I sure wish I could tell my 25 year old former self that mentally I would still be 25 at 59! 😉

    • Hilary on November 12, 2014 at 6:19 am

      Caren – you are how old? Nope! Don’t believe it!

  11. williamkendall1 on November 11, 2014 at 8:23 pm

    Terrific post, Hilary! I hope you had a happy birthday.

    Meredith, thanks for hosting Hilary!

    • Hilary on November 12, 2014 at 6:20 am

      William – thanks so much! I had a great birthday weekend (actual day work got in the way and what a day!). Thanks for coming to Meredith’s!

  12. Mike Vogler on November 12, 2014 at 8:51 pm

    I got posts and dates mixed up so a VERY Happy belated Birthday to you my dear friend!!!! 🙂

    • Hilary on November 14, 2014 at 6:11 am

      THanks so much Mike! You may have gotten a little mixed up but you made it everywhere! Thanks so much for visiting me over at my friend Meredith’s house and for all your support & friendship!

  13. belleofthecarnival on November 14, 2014 at 12:18 pm

    I think twenty-five is the magic number we begin to make important changes in our life. It is funny how over time we can reflect back and realize how much we have changed over the years.

Leave a Comment