I’ve spent the last couple of weeks running about frantic and trying to remember that it is physically possible to keep my head screwed on properly if I just stand still for a few minutes.
There’s no real reason for this, just an odd manic episode. I don’t question them when they happen anymore because I’m just happy that they no longer happen all the damn time. My recent weekends have required quite a lot of socializing, which may contribute to my general chicken-sans-head attitude about life. What with auditions and out-of-town company and readings and squealing with delight at the new season of Sherlock, I’ve kept my mind pretty well occupied. Now that things are starting to slow down a little (and there’s only one episode left of this series holycrapholycrapholycrap), I’m hoping to get back into my normal routine and optimistic that this might involve, at some point, sleeping.
At the very least, I’m pleased to announce that I have discovered that liquor is now available for purchase at Trader Joe’s, and that TJ’s Brand rum features a drunk bear on the label.
This was the crowning achievement of my life over the past two weeks. And now to the actual blog post.
I’m no longer sure anymore if the experiences of people in my age group are the same as have always been expected for young adults or if we’ve just been overly influenced by the information age and that’s why my grandfather and I have nothing to talk about at Thanksgiving. Is the quarter-life crisis an invention of the internet, much like Doge and Ernest Hemingway tattoos? I’ve often wondered if my generation is stilted because we’re spoiled or if it’s because we’ve never not had access to computers. Or maybe we aren’t stilted at all; it’s my understanding that the old guard never cares for those whippersnappers with their inappropriate music and progressively rising hemlines. So says Downton Abbey.
The fact that my weekend thrills consist of PBS probably explains why I’m always such a hit at nursing homes.
I feel like every time I meet with a twentysomething friend for coffee, I’m hearing about concerns that they aren’t Where They’re Supposed To Be. They haven’t gotten married or they haven’t had any kids or their career isn’t progressing fast enough or they have yet to climb Kilimanjaro… Any number of concerns weighs them down, all ending with the same, unnerving thought: am I doing something wrong?
As a kid, I remember hearing my parents tell me to stop comparing myself to other people because it would only make me unhappy. Maybe Lauren from gym class had made fun of me for having off-brand Adidas sneakers, but why was that important to me? Did Lauren from gym class know the origins of the sneakers she prized so much? Could Lauren from gym class cite that the success of the Adidas company was the direct result of West Germany winning the 1954 world cup, as would be dramatized in the 2003 film Das Wunder von Bern? Everyone has different strengths. Everyone has different values. If I could learn that, I would have a much easier time getting through both life and Chiddix Junior High.
Naturally, it would be several years before I took this advice to heart and didn’t assume it was just an excuse for my parents to keep buying me cheap shoes.
When I talk to my friends who have already surpassed their twenties, I hear a similar message. If I ask them about being concerned I haven’t met some fantasized level of maturity, they roll their eyes and echo what my grandparents tell me on a regular basis: you’re so young. You have so much time. No one knows what they want to be when they grow up. A good friend of mine once said to me, ‘I used to be so scared about becoming an adult. And then I realized I am an adult. I’m already doing it. And then I was scared all over again.’ For the record, I believe this conversation was followed by an all-night session of empanadas and Batman: Arkham City, so take our maturity as you will.
I don’t think I’ve had a quarter-life crisis, and I don’t think I will. Maybe it’s because I’ve never known what I want to be when I grow up. Maybe it’s because whenever I hear someone discussing any biological clocks, I roll my eyes and go back to Hetty Wainthropp Investigates. Maybe it’s because I still don’t have wifi in my apartment. I’ve read about studies that show that too much time on Facebook and similar networking sites can result in ‘declines in moment-to-moment happiness and overall life satisfaction’. Is leaving my computer screen behind and re-watching The Addams Family contributing to my laissez-faire approach to aging?
…My therapist told me I can self-medicate with television.
I don’t know what it is. I don’t know if any of us are doing this whole Life thing right. But I don’t think we’re supposed to know. Where would be the fun in that? And as much as we should all be very zen about things and live one day at a time, I don’t see the harm in drinking with friends and commiserating about completely ruining your life at the age of 27.
I’ll have Carson set out the claret for the occasion.