To quote Britney Spears, "Not a girl, not yet a woman."

Never did I think I would use Britney Spears' timely lyrics to quote my current state of mind again (because let's face it, at 16 she pegged my quasi-sexual teenage angst down to tee), but here she is poignantly coloring my emotion again.

To those that are younger, 27 seems old, mature, ripe with adulthood things like clean apartments, fiancées and a general together-ness. To those older, I am still young, naive in many ways and have oh-so-much to learn.

To me? 27 = freaking the f*** out.

Putting the tragically glamorous 27 Club aside, googling 27 is a digital, ego-deflating assault on what to expect in the coming year... the year, it apparently all changes.

You can find a dollop such as "Notice Your Life Turning Upside Down (Around Age 27)" which refers to this delicate stage as the mystical Saturn Return (aka my orbital transition between youth and adulthood -- duh). Or "Old Age Begins at 27," which brightly shares that scientists have discovered 27 is when your mental faculties really start to take a dip. Yippee. Depends here I come.

And if that wasn't cheery enough, yet another article "Is 27 the Perfect Age?" highlights the many triumphs others have achieved by this epochal age... Hemingway, he wrote, The Sun Also Rises, Ingrid Bergman -- well she was starring in Casablanca, Ben and Jerry -- yup -- ice cream king pins at the age of 27.

And then there is me.

Completely, totally, entirely assured and completely, totally, entirely terrified. Me. Every Saturday night planning on having "a night" and every Saturday night, being home by 12:00 a.m., undoubtedly deciding wine and my couch is far more appealing. My ears burn when I smoke. I am engaged (and supposed to be someone's real-live wife). I am terrified of riding bikes. I hate my job. I love my job. I get overly emotionally during animated films.

And now I am 27. Not a girl, not yet a woman.

And in this moment it hits me. Twenty-seven is a pregnant pause in one's twenties -- a year filled with expectation and transformation. The last year to be obscene, the last year when you can get away with it. All of it. Twenty-seven is the moment before the moment you really become an adult.

And with that I will go into 27 with wild ambition. A free heart and an open mind (forgive the hippie poetic crap, it is my birthday).