Remember when John Mellencamp sang, “Hold on to sixteen as long as you can…?” Well, the last few years I have been feeling the same about my twenties and they are quickly reaching a close and I’m clutching onto another 365 days of one more year before the big 3-0, the dirty thirty…another DECADE. My apologies in advance when I say this, but Jesus Christ, where did the years go?
Since I finished college, each birthday afterward has not been welcomed. I looked at 20-22…I was in school, successfully wrote for a music magazine in Boston, started a zine, networked along the punk scene and the veins that break apart from the genre….so what else was there?
I finished college. What was life going to hand me? I had skills, experience and a ton of marketable skills, but who wanted me? It was a discouraging go, working at stores with a tail between my legs, thinking, this is what a college education gets you! Part-time hours, crap pay and dodging people you know….dreading the conversation….”so what are you up to now?”
What does it look like I’m doing? Stuffing God-awful European shoes on people who have never seen a pumice stone in their life.
I had the idea of a cute bakery/chocolate shop in mind. At this point. Screw that English education, I pondered going back to a trade school to brush up on the skills, but I got a job at a school. Fast forward 5 years later, near breakdowns and a few paychecks stashed away, I finally seemed to be getting somewhere that is going to make me happy.
And they say the 30’s are easier because you know what you want by now!!!
Anyway, back to those birthdays. I have taken each one in a panic. 24, 25…spending those nights in bars with friends knocking back drinks as if we want to blink away the idea of getting older. 26, 27 I saw friends move away and felt the call of wanting a change of scenery, but stayed in the rut, letting a cloud of depression roll in, not to mention a neurological diagnosis on top of anxiety. Oh, the horrors of a quarter life crisis! I am living proof!
The beginning of the better birthdays came last year, a celebration spent dancing, getting sweaty and knocking back countless Cosmopolitans with wonderful boys who took me out with the aim of giving me a great night out (nawwwt like that!). Within our group, we ran the spectrum of the decade, early 20’s to crossing the threshold of 30. The older boys are dealing with “getting older” in their own way.Much calmer and relaxed, at least out loud, although I bet there is a battle of worries going on inside. Then there were the younger side, the ones out to help celebrate but have loads of years to deal with relationships, jobs and the inevitable breakdown (if it does happen). Either way, just like “Woo girls,” we shimmied and twisted until last call, forgetting any faults, hangups, feelings of dread or any other worry.
28 could not be that bad, could it? Eh, not when you’re seeing friends and coworkers getting married or popping out kids and you’re still in denial of advancing age and can’t wait for the weekend to get the party started.
So now we’re a year later, and tomorrow I’m closing in on the heels of 30 in another year. I’ve worked my butt off so hard to overcome loads of obstacles, depression, emotional letdown from the number of family deaths in the last few years, personal health issues and living minimally to release a book and now open a business. Hitting the ol’ 29 is actually feeling pretty good so far.