Remember when you were in high school, and you couldn’t wait to turn 18?
Remember when you turned 18, and you couldn’t wait to turn 21?
Remember when you were 23, felt your age had no “cool” factor attached to it, but you were sort of looking forward to turning 25, because you’d heard your insurance rates would most likely be cheaper?
Remember when you first moved to a large city and realized it didn’t matter what age you were, you were going to be royally f*cked by every insurance company everywhere?
It seems like just yesterday, at this exact same time of year, I was curled up on my bed, listening to WJLB, writing poetry. School days were getting shorter and summer vacation was on the horizon. My best friend still lived next door, and the number one item on our agenda was logging as many pool hours at the local YMCA and Civic Center as possible.
So many things were blissful unknowns at that time.
Rent. Utilities. Car notes. Insurance. Taxes. Fees. Politics. Protests. Falling in love. Falling out of love. Marriage. Divorce.
These things were real, in the sense that we knew we would one day handle them, and we swore we would handle them better than our parents ever had.
Then the day dawns, when all those things are real because we are handling them … and we may, or may not, be handling them as good, or better than, our parents ever had.
It seems like, in the blink of an eye, life became this complicated mess of wants and needs and emotions.
From my vantage point, I see the next generation’s “rebels without a cause” through an almost jealous partial perception. Oh to be young, stumbling, bumbling, and making-out in bar bathrooms again! Ode to the porcelain gods! A sonnet for the awkward morning after! A sestina for the walk of shame!
But then I remember the fear. The uncertainty. The concoction of emotions I wrestled with, day in and day out. I remember the confusion. The hurt. The betrayal. The easy lessons learned hard, and the hard lessons learned almost impossibly.
I remember, what it’s like to be young and independent for the first time. The empty wallets, Ramen-filled stomachs, endless yearnings, and unplanned for tomorrows.
I remember those days, and wince … but only for a second. I would not be true to myself if I sat down and simply said, “I’ve made it;” for I am nowhere near ready to declare such a victory.
However, I can honestly say that I am happily working toward that better and better and better place.