28, You’re Going To Be Fucking Great


After I got home from the gym, it was already pretty late. I knew after I showered I would be putting on what I would ultimately fall asleep in – then I’d make some impromptu dinner, and drink a glass (or bottle) of wine. Due to my ultimate lack of responsibility when it comes to doing laundry, I really didn’t have many options on what to wear. I rummaged through my things and settled on leopard print spandex pants, and a cutoff that featured Kelly Kapowski in a crop top and high waisted jean shorts held up by suspenders. I looked in the mirror and thought…is this really the outfit I want to wake up as a 28-year-old woman in? I thought about changing for about a tenth of a second before I realized it was the perfect outfit to wake up in on my birthday.

Man was 27 a tricky year. There were a lot of ins and outs, ups and downs. Half the time I didn’t know whether I was coming or going and I definitely made some questionable life decisions. While I have an unbelievable amount of compassion for other people, I can be very hard on myself. I have no problem comforting my friends and saying things like “You had phone sex with a married man? Whatever, it’s totally cool,” or “You got too drunk and threw up on the person you were making out with? It’s happens!” Case and point: your late 20’s are super weird and kind of rough – especially when you tackle those delicate years on your own. When I was in a relationship there was like, another human being that kind of held me accountable for being a dumb shit but for the last year it’s just been me and my cat.

Can I go one day without referencing my cat? I know I probably have too many in-depth conversations with my cat. That I probably post too many pictures on instagram or whatever. But to be fair it’s not my fault my cat is completely adorable and photogenic and a total camera whore. Besides, for someone who lacks stability the fact I’ve had like, this thing that belongs to me in some sense by my side for seven years now, I think that’s pretty cool. It’s one thing to love your cat and stuff, but it’s another to start accessorizing with cat socks, and tee-shirts, and a cat backpack. I digress.

I was up at school, getting my graduate degree and whatnot which is pretty badass and I was sitting around with two of my friends/peers, Greta and Chelsea. I love them both very much in different ways. Anyways, the conversation came up about it being my birthday the next week and I think I said something along the lines of “I have a feeling 28 is just going to be a really great year. I’m going to get my shit together and be really solid.”

Greta kind of got pensive for a minute and then a real serene smile spread across her face. “My goal is to be more ethereal and less solid,” she said. Now Greta is one of the smartest people I know and half the time I’m like whatthefuckareyoutalkingabout, but I’m also not above asking for clarification when I don’t understand something. “What do you mean?” I pressed. “You know, like ether…light, airy, tenuous…just floating.” I thought about this and decided that a.) It sounded so much better than being “solid,” and that b.) Being solid was overrated anyways.

I started to think further – why did I give myself such a hard time for everything as opposed to credit? I moved blindly back across the country to a state I promised myself I would never live in again, and proceeded to make a nice little life for myself. I made some amazing connections, friends that I will miss immensely, worked my ass off, graduated with my Master’s degree, and found happiness even in my most unhappy days. Fuck, I thought, I am really doing okay over here. There’s this stigma in your late 20’s where it’s like – I shouldn’t be waiting tables and going out every other night. I should be finding my soul mate and maybe like, buy a house or pop out a kid or something. But the reality is this: That’s so not my reality right now.

Salt_Lake_CityYou may notice that I said in the prior paragraph “friends that I will miss immensely.” This is my coming out, and not in a gay way but in an “I’m hitting the old dusty trail” way. I’ve missed Utah since the day I left and not a day goes by that I don’t miss the mountains – being in them, skiing down them, looking at them, frolicking in them…you get the idea. An opportunity presented itself kind of suddenly and I was forced to make this decision I’d thought about a lot but in what seemed like a split second. I texted my friend Emily, “I have to tell you something, can we talk later?” Emily texted back with an enthusiastic “Yup, Yup!” I asked “Well when is good for you?” but then didn’t even wait for an answer, I called her twice and Emily picked up the second time. Patience has never been my virtue and I operate in the “sooner better than later” mentality as in my mind can change at any second and I could very well swallow the words I worked so hard to say in the first place – “Yes I will be your roommate, Yes I will move back to Salt Lake City, Yes I will be happy, and young, and free – and not tied to the ground.”

I’ve started to tell people and it’s freaking me out more than them. They say “If not now, when?” or “Go forth; this is the time in your life to do it, go!” It all feels very Dr. Suess, ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ – “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”

And with each person egging me on, I think “I should wait, this is too soon. I need a substantial goodbye.”  It wasn’t until I told my co-worker Danielle the choice I was marinating on that I realized I was absolutely doing the right thing. I was complaining to her that I should really wait, I’d make good money now that the patio was open and I should stay for the summer, maybe even the fall. You know what Danielle did? She smacked me in the back of  my head right there by the upper wait station. “What the fuck Danielle?!” She had hit me hard and I was so not expecting it. “Tanya,” Danielle started, “If those are your reasons for staying, you’re just crazy.” And that’s what it took.

So 28, it’s the start of a new chapter in so many ways and all I can think is here’s to being more ethereal and less solid. Here’s to new adventures and making choices that are hard but probably for the best. Here’s to riding my bike to concerts and the farmer’s market. Here’s to waking up to place so nonchalantly picturesque you feel grateful every morning when you look out the window. Here’s to going home, but also – here’s to the home I’ve made in Connecticut for the last two years. It’s been a beautiful and strange ride and not one I will soon forget or cease to appreciate.

One thought on “28, You’re Going To Be Fucking Great

  1. Tanya-
    You have been one of those individuals I secretly and not so secretly admire. While you may underrate your strengths and make light of your narrative, I have been smacked in the face time and time again (in those short, intense hours of res; in your blog; and your FB page which I stalk on a bi-weekly basis) by the light of your being, the beauty you create with your words and with your art, and especially by your honest sense of adventury. These are not mere words for me to say (I try never to lie nor to flatter), but they are truth of you as I have experienced you. You will succeed wherever you go, and if ever you find yourself in need of a roof, an ear, a shoulder, or just some one to make random aphoristic statements for you to impress your friends with, I hope that you know- however ethereal or solid you may be at the time- I am here. Good luck, Godspeed- and “may you be safe & protected; may you be happy & healthy; may you have ease of mind” because “you is smart; you is kind; and you is important.”

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