Your birthday, when everyone tells you you're special, is the high point of your year.

To be a mid-twenties, middle-class white girl living in New York City is to be utterly forgettable. You are no longer the lithe, glowing, naive young thing that made everyone's eyes sparkle--that ended when you took your first legal drink. Nor are you a chic, knowing, 30-something tangling with the questions of your career, bossing around interns and sporting a designer handbag over your arm while giving zero fucks about what anyone thinks. You're not old enough to feel comfortable naked. You're not young enough to feel comfortable in cutoffs. You probably don't have kids yet, so you are not in charge of another, adorable human being who gives you so much joy and meaning to your life. You're not a male, who garners deference at the bar and in the office just for having a dick, confident that he will never have to grapple with "having it all," because that's what wives are for. You're not poor, so you'll never overcome the hurdles placed in your way by a cruel world to succeed, and then be profiled by the New York Times. You're not rich, so you can't afford a life of travel to exotic locations, fancy parties, or an apartment bought by your Russian daddy on Central Park West. If you run out of money, your parents will kick you a little bit (true hardship averted) but they're not bankrolling your lifestyle. That's what credit cards are for. To be a mid-twenties, middle-class, white girl in the big city means you pass longingly by designer shops in favor of Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, and something "edgy" at Zara or H&M. You've given up your North Face, but you still use your trusty Longchamp and Rainbows. You have no story to tell. Your parents are slightly crazy, but not in a drug-addicted way, which would make excellent fodder for a novel. Just in a "pop a Xanax" way, which is utterly boring to all other middle class white people and--come to think of it--everyone. You had a perfectly nice childhood growing up in the suburbs listening to Jimmy Eat World and getting a $30 a month allowance so you could buy jewelry at Icing. Your parents are not artists or diplomats. Just middle class people doing middle class things. When people ask you where you're from, you've taken to saying your home state apologetically because it's not Israel or Paraguay, or even Alaska. Alaska would be cool. If you took the time to trace your lineage back, you would probably find that your white ancestors showed up to the United States some time in the 1800s, but you've never bothered with your tree because you know there's nothing interesting back there. Maybe a plantation, which you're happy not knowing about. You played soccer/field hockey/lacrosse in high school just like everyone else, which involved a tiny, plastic, hard ball, not an expensive half-ton animal and leather accessories like horse back riding does. You can't rap, you can't twerk, you can't sail, you can't play tennis--play it well, anyway. You once ran a half-marathon and that is one of your signature achievements. You know a little bit of French or Spanish, but not enough to understand what the cool group of foreigners on the subway are saying. (You've tried, they've laughed at you.) To be a mid-twenties, middle-class white girl means silent and insidious scorn heaped upon you by society, pop culture and potential investors in your venture that you're too young to start anyway. You were given myriad advantages--perhaps you went to a middling private school before taking out loans to go to a pretty good college--and yet instead of being "whoever you want," like you were told you could be, you're probably working at a company doing something that few people care about: PR, HR, social media, unsuccessful non-profit work, accounting, sales, etc. Your hobbies include yoga, watching reality television, and "exploring the city." If someone were to ask you what you're passionate about, you would have no idea what to say, and what kind of weirdo question is that anyway? Even Lena Dunham, the toast of pop culture at the moment, is still just writing about being a 20-something, middle class white girl, and the tiny indignities that come along with it every day. Though, the indignities are nothing compared to being of color, or lower class, or even upper class, with its surety of being tabloid fodder at some point. (Of course, Lena Dunham is writing a TV show about being a middle-class white girl, because she had the advantage of being an upper-class white girl with artsy parents. You don't have that.) No, your indignities are just stupid, navel-gazing bullshit challenges that you created for yourself. Like the guy who never texted you back that you met at that sports bar in the East Village. Or the drama with that girl who is, like, no longer your friend because she's, like, such a bitch. That reminds me. To be a mid-twenties, middle-class white girl means you use "like" way too much. You know it, your parents definitely know it, your professors knew it and tried to stop you, your current boss knows it, and yet you can't seem to stop. Also, you up-speak, and everything out of your mouth comes out like a question? To be a mid-twenties, middle-class white girls means that when you ask for a raise, you hear everything ("It's not in the budget." "We have pay freezes right now." "In another few months, just keep working hard." "You're expectations are way outsized." "You're being such a Millennial.") except for, "Yes." You want to do something really fascinating, like pack up and go backpacking through Ecuador, but it seems a little late for that and you only have two weeks of vacation and no savings. And you know that you need to meet the love of your life right now, in order to have a baby before your baby-making machinery gets rusty. So you're on OK Cupid or Match and going on dates and getting nowhere. To be a mid-twenties, middle-class white girl is to feel inadequate three times a week when a new profile comes out of a 22-year-old fashion blogger with a million hits a month, a 24-year-old entrepreneur who's saving the world with a one-for-one accessories company, or a 16-year-old actress who's gracing the cover of New York Mag. Why the hell didn't you do that? You're in therapy, and all you can tell your therapist is about the latest jerk guy and your tepid feelings of aimlessness. To be a mid-twenties white girl means a meh treadmill of early-morning gym visits, conference calls, cubicle work, happy hour, dinners you can't afford, and then home again to your small apartment with "transitional" IKEA furniture and Etsy prints in IKEA frames, where you wake up the next morning with a hangover and do it all over again. The curse of the mid-twenties, middle-class white girl is that there is no curse. There's nothing at all to remember or moan about or feel sorry about. But there's nothing amazing either. And that is why you spend so much time pinning insipid Pinterest quotes--maybe someday you'll be inspired to do that thing you've always wanted to do. Whatever that is.