Tuesday, January 20, 2009

21 + 10

The highlight my weekend in Seattle was spending some time with Joel, an friend of mine from college. He took me on a bike mini-tour (as distinguished from a mini-bike tour) of his quadrant of Seattle, complete with lots of steep grades and coffee shops.

Despite being a total dude as far as his ability to drink beer, remember details and talk about his own feelings, Joel is a joy to be around. Genuinely interested in what is going on in my life and a great listener and question-asker. And I'm very comfortable saying anything to him (including an ingenious off-the-cuff statement about my failure to keep up on the landscaping because no one has been visiting the garden)...after all, he's been watching me roll my eyes at everyone and everything for over ten years. Catching up with him was the type of verbal dump that has been very therapeutic for me. The more I talk about Breakupocalypse 2007-08 (all three chapters) out loud, the more at peace I become with it.


I remain in touch with only a handful of people that knew me in my college days, Lindsay Version 2.0. That version is somehow less me, yet more me, than I am now...say, Version 5.0. The me version of Windows Vista.

Some things are definitely the same: I still love me in red hair, drinking good beer and Sleater-Kinney at full volume. I remain awkward at small talk and hate public speaking, but can still hold court at a party like a seasoned socialite. I can't sit still or stay up late. And I still have no idea what the hell to do with my life.

But like all of us that are ten years past 21, I have changed. Snarky idealism has given way to cynicism. Revelry to responsibility. I can no longer do a keg stand without suffering for days afterward or pierce my face wherever and whenever I'd like. I'm getting laugh lines and slightly elastic underarms and witch's hairs on my chin. I own too many things to quickly move in the back of a 1991 Subaru station wagon.

Some things have changed for the better. I have a good haircut and have replaced most of my twenty-something beer weight with thigh muscle. I have a set of job skills that have allowed me to own my own home, buy nice bikes and enjoy non-boxed wine. I have family in the form of adult friendships that have transcended time, space and generation.

But still a part of me wishes there was a reclaim the restless, optimistic joy of being 21. That feeling like you have your whole life ahead of you to figure your shit out. Before debt and divorce and middle-aged stasis. And it is frequently discouraging and scary to think that my life could be more than halfway over and I still don't have any true idea of what I want to do with it.

But that's the part of me that ignores how terribly wonderful, and wonderfully terrible, the last ten years have been. I'm becoming a grown-up. I don't think I'll ever get there, all of the way, but all of the love and the loss and laughter is pushing me in that direction.


Kristin said...

funny you post about this... i was just thinking about this topic ("growing up") this morning. Hummmm, I may have to make my own post. :)

Lindsay said...

Do it. I'd be interested in what you have to say, being younger than I am, with a different set of life experiences.

I actually need to work on this post a little bit, so come back and read it again in a day or two.

Kristin said...

i wrote something, but its not exactly a complete answer... the complete thought to that topic would have to be shared over a beer.

some things you just don't put out there on the internets. :)

Anonymous said...

Very mature. This post shows how much you have grown up. Yeah, sometimes it's nice to be irresponsible and not have to worry about anything...but this is a good age too...and you are still so young! You have lots to look forward too. I had a great time seeing you last weekend and will get back to Portland soon.