oh joy, oh rapture

oh joy, oh rapture

Last Monday I had a convo with Megan about our age. Recently Branden left a comment about getting old. Over the fourth, I felt older than I have in a long time. I may not do the street dance again.
So what is it? 30 is looming over me, 3 years from now. I expect a huge party, as it is also my golden birthday. But, besides that, what is so scary about thirty?
There is something about your late 20s that makes a change in a person. You are no longer in your early 20s. The early 20s are exciting, with newfound legalness for alcohol and new jobs and new lives. There are the friends who want you to go to the bar every weekend, or know of a guy whose cousin is having a party on Friday. You are in the in-crowd, and you know how to work it.
Then 25 comes, and you are at a standstill, balancing on that edge between 24 and 26. The early and the late – they are both there. The friend still knows a guy who’s having a party, but your boyfriend has been talking about engagement. Your entry-level position at the company you work for pays for the booze and the people you work with are your bar buddies, but there is a promotion on the horizon if you play your cards right.
And 26 comes and hits you between the eyes. You are in your late 20s. 30 is closer than 20, and 30 somehow is the dreaded age. Your life is 1/3 over at that point. You should be on your way to doing something responsible with your life at this point. You should have a steady job, a spouse, a house, 2.5 kids, a dog, and a minivan. You should be one your way to becoming a soccer parent. The responsibility looms.
I turned 25 and felt ok. I didn’t feel that I was caught in a limbo between carefree and responsibility. I was expecting a quarter-life crisis, and I think I had a mild one concerning work, lack of a man, etc., right before I met Nate. Then, in a whirlwind of 2 years, I met Nate, got engaged, got married, and am now happily settled (well, not really “settled”) in. and Megan concurs, when that ring hits the third finger of your left hand, you age about 10 years.
Is it the combination of age and sudden “otherness”, so to speak? Is it the ring screaming, “you’re getting married – now grow up!”? Is it now a weight of responsibility that suddenly shows up on your shoulders?
But why why why must we grow up? I yearn for my carefree days of 19-20-21-22-23. I loved those years: the trouble I would get in, the people I would meet and have fun with, the many beers I would ingest and then out-gest, driving around, partying, playing P&A, going to random people’s houses. I don’t do that anymore. Have I grown up?
Whilst in the “old days”, my concerns were where I was going to sleep that night and what alcohol I should drink the next weekend, now my concerns have taken an older route. They involve if I’m ever going to get a decent job, will I buy a house in the next three years, and what about kids? They have taken on a considerable “older” tone. I hear about my sisters’ lives and I long for that kind of lifestyle. Why do I feel so tied down? Yes, I have a spouse. Yes, I want a house. The dog, nope. The minivan, no way. The 2.5 kids? I’m thinking about it.
My nights and weekends have become decidedly boring. This is due to a lack of money, for one, and a lack of people to do stuff with. I watch PBS of the national geographic channel and learn about things I really don’t need to know about. I read random books. I write out my bills. I look for jobs. This coming fall, I’ll be doing homework. I cook supper. I clean. I wash dishes. I do laundry. Feed the cat, clean the litterbox, etc. and that is about it. I don’t go out, I don’t sleep on random couches anymore. I don’t plan my alcohol purchases a week in advance. Somewhere between 24 and 27, I have become grown up.
But I don’t want to become boring. That’s what it boils down to – life at 30 seems outright boring. I have already become boring, and I have 3 years to go until the boring age. I feel as if my early 20s are gone forever – and they probably are for the most part. But I still want early 20s at some intervals – maybe a weekend here, a Friday night there – just to keep me guessing about my age.

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