dear my 20s,
this is our last day together. fitting that it would be falling on leap day. its like when you are holding a party and there is one person left and they are like, 'oh i can stick around another 30min or so'. yeah. like that 20s.
i kid. sorta. the truth is, 20s, we weren't perfect bedfellows. i didn't fit into you a lot of the time. probably because society kept telling me that my 20s were supposed to be FUN, CAREFREE, THE BEST TIME OF MY LIFE. and, let me tell you, most of my 20s did not feel that way. i felt like i was supposed to be partying all the time. like i was supposed to be out late, in high heels, with three of my closest girlfriends screaming at the top of my lungs. i'm not sure that ever happened.
i know now that not every 20-something is doing that. i also know that plenty of 30-somethings do that every weekend. i felt for a long time like i was failing you, 20s. i am sad i spent so much of you feeling inadequate and boring and lame.
the past few months i've been talking shit about you, 20s. i've been listing every shitty thing that happened in your presence. i've been focused on how my ex and my feelings for him dominated the majority of you (in writing this post, i went looking for photos of 20 year old me and saw that the first time my ex wrote to me on FB was only about a month and a half after turning 20. jesus. what babies we were then. and no wonder it feels like he has been around in some fashion for all of my 20s). i've been focused on how you did not turn out at all like i had hoped. and so i said, fuck you. and i've been waiting for 30. honestly, i think i spent much of my 20s just wanting to be older. i thought i'd have things figured out by now. i thought life would look like how i wanted it by now. but mostly, i thought that turning 30 would catch me up to how i feel. being an "old soul" will do that.
but while i've been talking shit about you the last six months, you were also teaching me something. you were also like, 'hey we have 6 months left, lets teach this b*tch a big lesson'. you began teaching me to accept who i am and what i like and to stop apologizing for it. i am still learning this lesson so i don't have much practice, but i'm trying. on our last day together, i know now i didn't fail at you. i know now that i was trying to figure out who i was and who i wasn't and living my life accordingly.
29 put a damper on your going away party, 20s. 29 was hard. it was wonderful and hard. and i can't wait to let this year, this age, go. but i am trying to remember that this year, like the years before it, were filled with good times. good memories. good lessons. we had some good times, 20s. let's remember some...in no particular order...
we started out with a surprise birthday party. the reasons for which are pretty funny 10 years later, but at the time your friend thought you needed a pick me up. it was one of the first times in college that you felt like you had friends who really liked you.
we got a car. we learned to like driving.
we traveled! some of the places we went to great britain, france, belgium, the netherlands, germany, austria, italy, switzerland, spain, guatemala, nicaragua, peru, mexico, and canada. we looked up at the sistine chapel and had a conversation in spanish, italian, and english with a very attractive italian man while in a bookstore in antigua, guatemala. we looked upon machu picchu and fell in love with scotland on arthur's seat. we found calm in a small village with no electricity in nicaragua and while walking through the streets of london and while on a solo trip to montreal where we went to a jazz club.
we lost our virginity.
we lived in providence, in boston, in philly, in england, in new york. we lived alone, we lived with an old friend, we lived with men. we lived in high rises and townhouses and regular old apartments. jesus, we moved 10 times, 2os.
we sat in a number of different classrooms. we held a number of different jobs. we wrote plays and poetry. we wrote term papers and theses.
we learned we are allergic to hazelnuts and some raw fruits and veggies, we learned that we can't have certain soy products. we learned we have mild asthma. that wasn't that great. don't know why i've included that on the great times list...
we started running for real. and we learned that our achey knees and less than perfect lungs can take us at least 13.1mi.
we learned about yoga and meditation and made a lifelong connection with our breath and beliefs.
we watched friends get married. we watched others have kids. we watched others get their dream jobs. we also watched a whole bunch of people freak out just like we did, are, will.
we fell in love. deeply. we had our heart broken. deeply.
we told a boy that we would one day buy a dog and name him george. and years later, we bought a dog and named him george and nothing was the same.
we watched our body change and our likes change. we started wearing perfume and liking jumpsuits and getting our nails done. we spent a year getting our eyebrows waxed and then stopped caring and now just have bushy eyebrows. we never let hot wax get near our vajayjay and never will and we have accepted that and men who want that can go find someone else.
we have gotten bitten by our share of mosquitoes. also, in nicaragua, we learned we were allergic to fleas. we tried to remember that being itchy was not the end of the world.
we got mono. it sucked.
we realized that we were often happier when single. when we could just be ourselves and not have to worry about a man in our lives. we seem to forget this. we seem to forget that we should be with someone who contributes to our contentment.
we got four tattoos and cut all our hair off to grow an afro, which is something we would have never guessed we'd do when we turned 20, but did at 24.
we watched dreams fall away and change--sometimes because they wanted to and sometimes because they were forced to. we cried about it. we laughed about it.
we made new friends. amazing new friends. lifelong friends. we lost friends. old friends and even some of the amazing new friends.
we learned to cook a few things. and eat with chopsticks. and like a beer every once and a while. but really wine became our baby and that's just so nice.
we became friends with several starbucks baristas who already start making your drink as soon as you walk in.
we went to balls, like cinderella. we had sex in a swanky hotel. we ate oysters and now want them all the time. we got naked on stage. we had crushes on men who never wanted us and had crushes on men that probably did. we found ourselves and lost ourselves again and again.
we once did what this girl did, but luckily didn't get TSS so PRAISE THE GODS.
we were asked what kind of engagement ring we would want by a man we loved. we learned that just because someone asks you that, doesn't mean they actually want to give it to you.
we fell in love with running along the water. we fell in love with a lot of amazingly bad but amazing songs. we fell in love with tea and scones.
we seriously considered moving to california several times. we got sunburned. we voted for obama twice. we fell in love with families that were not our own. we let go of things and people--even when we didn't want to. we gave second chances. we bought too many clothes and too many books.
we did not become as financially responsible as we would have hoped. this is bad, 20s. you had one fucking job and now you are making it 30s' problem. as you are doing with a lot of things...typical...
we learned a lot. a fucking lot. too much to sit down and write. we grew up together, 20s. and now i've out grown you. now i have to move on. but when i think back to my 20th birthday and where i was then, i am shocked to see how much as changed, how much hasn't, and all the things in-between.
20s, i'm not sorry to see you go and i'm not sure if i'll miss you right away, but i know i am who i am because of my time with you (because that is how time works, but it is more poetic if i write it this way). i am hoping my 30s are the better for my time with you.