Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Never, never

It’s time to grow up, he said. I’m not really about all that pleasure-chasing any more. I’m just…so over it all. I left that stuff in high school.

He’s in a serious relationship. He’s cut down all vices until he has none left. He has the next thirty years of his life planned.

Did I mention he’s not even twenty?

Someone should tell you when you’re not-even-twenty. There should be a fairy that follows you around and zaps your thoughts back to where they should be. That you shouldn’t have a serious relationship at the moment of such pliancy; that you shouldn’t be chomping at the bit to get your life together. It’s flux time, you can be liquid for only a few precious years, flitting from underpaid but highly interesting job/exotic locale/beautiful person to the next, scrambling for the free crudités at any function which admits you, staying out all night and catching dreams and strings of drool in the crook of your sweatshirted arm on the subway.

I wish someone had told me. I could have used a lightening bolt. Sure, I wouldn’t have believed it. But today a friend at work and I simultaneously agreed, we wish we hadn’t been beholden to all that we had planned for so long. Our college and post-collegiate worlds consisted of all-star teams that came this close to nationals. And then, we all lost. Big time. Our truest person, our straightest path to that which underscored our majors and every decision we made. And then, at a point without our permission, the decisions began getting made for us. The things we sacrificed when we were really young instead of just sort of young are no sacrifices now. They’re expected and even enjoyed. We should have made a different choice. But when left to your own, so often you pick the wrong one.

I know it’s controversial. Young, true love of a person, place or thing. Blah blah blah. I’m jaded on true love of anything hitting just once and never wavering. It’s exhausted, spent. It’s so utterly important until the moment it isn’t. Then, for instance, you look at the person across from you, the one you were naming your children with, and you go, uuuh…no. Not now.

No thanks, you’re great really, and they absolutely are. But you don’t want them, not really, when you’re nineteen. You want them when you’re both twenty nine. I can’t explain why, I above all people thought this to be so wrong at one point. Now I just don’t. And I’m not one to judge. If you want to be serious and buckle down at an age that most look at you crazy for, good for you. Amazing for you. I could use some of your discipline. I just, right now, don’t particularly agree that you might be happy with your choice in say, five years time.

There’s just too much growing to do in the time between legal age and the fear of turning thirty. It’s hard to grow at the same time as someone else, or a dream that you held since you were still a teenager. Lonely comes hand in hand with freeing. And to do something, secretly and deep down to offset the fear of being lonely, or wrong, or not taking that jump off a cliff because it's scary is not a reason I would advise. Because really, answering only to yourself is the way to be yourself. To take whatever you want while you still can live in a crowded apartment with five roommates, before you have trouble sleeping or bad hair days forgone for finding a gray one. A serious relationship with a person or a job or anything else? Save it for when you can really understand how amazing it is. Because I think, in many instances, and this is of course completely my humble, often wrong, overthought, convoluted musing-laden opinion based solely on a Manhattan-based existence, that peaking should be put off for as long as possible. That being in a rush to hurry up and grow up is a waste of current energy.

That Never Never Land doesn’t give you a stamp to get back in, so you better be sure when you leave that you never, never want to look back.

Of course, all that said, I'm right at the corner of actually growing up for real this time. I won't slow or hurry my pace either way. I'm just planning on rounding that bend exactly when I want to, not whether I feel I should. So I say, you know, until I actually have to do it...


Anonymous said...

I think in the suburbs the young'uns do it earlier. But for this place and time, I agree. I want all that stuff I had in college (dreams, serious girlfriend, stamina) NOW.

Youth is wasted on the stupid.

trina said...

your comments are all screwy today, i tried to publish and nothing happened!

Ani said...

Wow. You are barely 25, you say? I wish I'd had this wisdom when I was 25. Nevermind when I was 'not-even-twenty'.

[Nice blog.]

k said...

ani-thanks for your comment.

The awful truth is technically I am not "barely" twenty-five. I started this blog not long after I was twenty-four so had that in the profile, on my birthday I changed the number to 25. A few more months and I'll be changing it again...and for a year I'll be "barely" 26.


themarina said...

"There’s just too much growing to do in the time between legal age and the fear of turning thirty. It’s hard to grow at the same time as someone else"

I don't think I've ever seen it better said than that.

PLD said...

De ja blog! This very topic was on my mind at the same time!