I always thought that if I had a mantra for my life at the age of twenty-seven, it would be something oddly vague but very wise like “Presence is the most important ‘present’ of all,” or “Cause if at first you don’t succeed (first you don’t succeed), Dust yourself off, and try again – You can dust it off and try again, dust yourself off and try again, try again.” However, instead of one of these two phrases (the latter being completely original to me of course) the one phrase that continuously circles my life these days is “What IS this life?” (Please note the exaggerated emphasis on the “is” and picture me saying this in a sarcastic tone with an over-the-top eye roll inserted here.)
Today I went to the gym to change my billing information and decided that while I was there; I may as well hit the tanning beds. Before you go and tell me I’m going to look like an old leather handbag in five years, let me tell you that a.) I really don’t care and more importantly b.) It does wonders for my adult acne (and my adult acne makes your 13-year-old cousins acne look like a joke.) I mean if a blind person touched my face they would probably think it was a book and try to read it.
So I’m changing back into my everyday clothes which is slightly abnormal as usually I’m changing back into smelly shorts and sneakers, and this happens:
In case you can’t tell that’s my pasty white legs doning a pair of cheap boots from Target (I’m poor.) While you may be asking “What’s peculiar about that?” Let me take you through the process here: I completely dressed myself up top – Pulled my arms through the sleeves of my shirt, draped my scarf around my neck for dramatic effect, put on my jacket, pulled up my pantaloons and threw on my boots. What’s missing from this equation? Oh, it’s PANTS. I forgot to put on pants. Now can you picture what would happen if you looked up from your Zumba class and just saw a girl wandering around dressed to the nines but lacking her slacks? This was almost an entire gym’s reality today. Luckily I caught myself in my skivvies and was only left wondering where my brain went on holiday, and when it was going to be back (It also made me think of the Pixies Where Is My Mind? which is a really fantastic track.)
Speaking of photographic evidence about what my life is about, there’s also this:
So many artists struggle to create a self-portrait that accurately depicts their life and I think I hit the nail right on the head with this gem. Some people may cry blood, sweat, and tears – but I cry cats, ice cream, and red wine.
When I used to think about my where I’d be at this point in time as a child, I don’t quite remember what I envisioned – but I’m pretty sure it didn’t include cat hair on everything I own, excessive credit card debt, or burning sage and reading tarot cards every time I had a problem. I probably thought I’d have pennies instead of having to pinch them and that I’d at the very least – have the semblance of a plan for my future. I thought having to eat ramen noodles would go away after college, as would nights that didn’t end until well after 5 am. I never thought I’d be nursing a beer while my friends were nursing their kids, or that I’d have to request every other weekend off for someone’s wedding.
While 50% of us twenty-somethings have it together, please know the other 50% of us are still figuring it out – and trust us, we will. Be kind and patient and PLEASE – stop sending us so much stuff to stick on our fridge. You don’t have to announce everything, it’s braggy.
In the near to distant future we will get our shit together, stop adopting animals from the humane society, and/or eating entire bags of potato chips in one sitting – I swear. We will retire our online dating profiles, not require nearly as much therapy, and be productive members of society; I have hope. In the meantime don’t judge us for making friends with strangers, following them to their office building for an after-party and subsequently posing with their plethora of Emmy awards in front of their Christmas display. We may be dazed and confused, but we’re also still awesome.
I don’t know where I want to live, or what I want to do but it’s fine. We’ve all got different paths to take and some may be more confusing, arduous, and bumpy than others. I vote we embrace our indecisiveness, and fears and do a cheers to our late 20’s.