The never ending battle of youth...
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Please tell me I'm not the only one hanging on for dear life...
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I miss my twenties. A time when nothing mattered but answering the burning question, what’s coming next? What’s happening tomorrow? Living in the moment and have the energy to let those moments last all night. Twenties is when waking up with one shoe on and little recollection of who’s in your bed equates to a fairly decent Saturday night. When the word tequila didn’t give you a headache. When two shots and a beer got the night started and didn’t cause a three-day hangover. Twenties meant exploring the world, yourself, and what it meant to be in it. Changing meant growing and you could change yourself once a week and twice on Sunday. Twenties was supposed to be the beginning of the rest of your life.
Younger, leaner, better, faster, dumber twenty-five hit like a ton of bricks. There were only five years left until I was officially an adult. Twenties is grown up, but mistakes in your twenties are easily waved off by lack of experience, a youthful indiscretion. Thirty, thirty would bring with it the expectations of success. How many kids to you have? What’s your annual gross income? You’re thirty years old and you haven’t—fill in the blank as necessary--yet?
Growing up and becoming an adult are two very different things. Growing up allows for mistakes. There is a margin of error allowed while you’re growing up. That margin gets smaller every year until one day it’s gone. The space for errors is no more. Suddenly and without warning, you are responsible for more than you bargained for and left wondering, when the fuck did that happen? Adult happens when you least expect it.
It hadn’t been that long since twenty-five and the realization that I was getting older minute by minute, I couldn’t figure out what changed. How quickly could a person’s body really change? The answer that question is fucking fast. Thirty meant two-drink hangovers. It meant random diarrhea—how many times can a person shit, really? Never fear, constipation is also inevitable.
The day after my thirtieth an epiphany hit me that to this day I wish had stayed the fuck out of my head. I’m going to die. If fact, I’m going to die sooner today than I was yesterday. Every day I’m alive is just another day closer to the day I will die. But, a glimmer of hope, before I die I’m going to get old. Not older, old. Wrinkly and bitter and weak and closer to death with each year.
That year flew by—because why not, right?—and I found myself thinking about getting old more and more. I’d see women in their fifties and realize, they’re going to die soon. I will be them soon. I will not look like me soon. I don’t look like I did when I was twenty. And I sure as fuck won’t look like I did at thirty when I’m forty. My body is on a slow--not slow enough—path of decay.
Nostalgia is a lie. It’s a bundle of bullshit we tell ourselves actually happened. You were never that cool. They were never that cool. Memories of your youth will not save you from your future. Because they’re bullshit. I heard once our memories merely exist from the last time we recalled them. That memory of senior prom we’re clinging to for dear life likely wasn’t exactly how we remember it today just as it won’t be exactly how we remembered it today when we think of it again next week.
Nostalgia, a series of bullshit we tell ourselves to convince our brains there was a time better than now.
Even if now is old, tomorrow will be older. Tomorrow might be thinner, calmer, cleaner, better, but it will always be older. That’s the one thing we truly have zero control over. Time. Time moves fast and means business. It slows down for no man—or woman, you sly thing, you—and makes no apologies for its consistent inconveniences.
There is no time other than now. There was no time better than then, but that’s long past. Then is gone and now is all we have. Tomorrow isn’t promised and each tomorrow we get is just one day closer to old and dead. Now is all we have.
If there's anything I've learned since writing this it's this:
Drink beer and prosper.
Nobody's getting out this alive.