Last week, I worked as a volunteer for a pretty badass concert that the Television Academy (aka, the Emmys folks) produced. On the team of runners were a lot of recent college graduates and two high schoolers. Y’all: I was a full decade and then some older than the youngest member on the team. During a break, I made the mistake of mentioning that I’ll be 30 in January.
I immediately realized the error of my vocalization. “Um, yes.”
“Wow, well…you look really good for your age!”
Aaaaand that is officially the first time I’ve heard that. I mean, I hope it’s not the last time I hear it; as far as unintentionally backhanded compliments go…that’s the one you wanna get. Right?
The past few years have been a time warp for me. I’ve spent a lot time with recent college graduates, being as silly and goofy as they are and trying to keep up with their drinking habits…which only lead me to surpass their puking habits, because HI METABOLISM, you didn’t have to catch up to me, but here you are. I’ve been responsibly irresponsible, which basically means that I’ve been stretching a little bit past what the rubber band of my personality/ego/morality had previously allowed. And I’ve learned, and I’ve grown, and I’ve loved it. I’m a fuller person for it, because I never really went wild in high school or college.
Things seemed to change this month. I’ve started giving more sage wisdom to 20-somethings that don’t want to hear it. Just now, I had to write an email to a youth about not breaking rules, and then I apologized for being hard-nosed and iron-fisted. As an adult, I recognize that an apology isn’t necessary (Rules are made for a reason!) but it’s almost as though I’m apologizing to the younger Me. The Me that should have broke a few rules along the way. The Me that didn’t want to hear what other people had gone through, as Me wanted to do it her way.
I don’t think that people ever stop evolving, but I do think that the metaphorical cookie finishes baking. (Never say never, but) I think I’m almost there. I’ve had a few waves of being 20-something, of reinventing who I am. I believe that whatever comes in the next few weeks is the thing that’s going to drive me further out of the deep, dark woods of early adulthood and into wide, open plains of not-giving-a-single-fuck, self-awareness, and self-acceptance.