Twenty Something (and Trying)

You would think I would have titled a post this way already. I am, after all, writing a book about what it’s like to be a twenty something. But today I don’t feel like writing a book. Today I feel more like making a list.

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I am twenty something and what this means is I am so glad I had a childhood before technology took over. What this means is I miss life before it felt like it was 10% charged and going fast. What this means is I’d really rather text. What this means is I’ve sent a regrettable text or two.

I am twenty something, and what this means is I’d love to delay assuming ownership of that particular bill. What this means is I am alarmed by the cost of living the way I’ve lived. What this means is I paint my own nails. (Clean my own bathroom, pluck my own eyebrows, detail my own car.)

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I am twenty something, and what this means is I need shoes I can walk in. What this means is I am more afraid of falling on my face than I am of spiders crawling into my mouth when I sleep. What this means is I grind my teeth at night.

I am twenty something, and what this means is I am not calm, cool, and collected. What this means is I often have a (very large) cookie in my lap.

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I am twenty something, and what this means is I’m fighting to feel comfortable in my own skin. What this means is I don’t know why I put my self-esteem in the hands of complete strangers. What this means is I take a lot of pictures of things I know will photograph well.

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I am twenty something, and what this means is I check for gaps between the buttons on my blouse. (I also don’t call it a blouse, probably.) What this means is I’m faking it but I’m not so sure I’m ever going to make it. What this means is I’m doing my best trying to dress the part. What this means is my skirt is probably slightly too short.

I am twenty something, and what this means is I am only as unemployed as I advertise. What this means is it often feels like I am all alone. What this means is I sit on a lot of benches. What this means is all I want is to go home. (But not, you know, actually.)

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I am twenty something, and what this means is personality REALLY, REALLY matters. What this means is I want a partner, potentially. (I said potentially — don’t panic.) What this means is sometimes I catch myself looking at babies the same way I look at puppies and it’s definitely too-much-too-soon but also so-cute-I-could-die. What this means is I care about how you treat your younger sister. (And your mother. And the nearest little old lady.)

I am twenty something, and what this means is I know some relationships just don’t last. What this means is my next date will take place on an oatmeal-colored couch across from a limping-along plant and a box of tissues ¾ of the way gone. What this means is there will be a hug, afterwards, in the form of a gallon of really good gelato. (Wild Maine Blueberry Crisp!)

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I am twenty something, and what this means is I have a pretty solid handle on what I don’t want to do. What this means is that’s the way I’d like you to phrase your question. What this means is I probably don’t have the answer you’re looking for. What this means is all of a sudden there are stupid questions, and I’m getting the sense that (ideally) you’d prefer it if I didn’t ask any, at all.

I am twenty something, and what this means is I eat scary-large chicken breasts on a regular basis. What this means is steak is Special Occasion Steak. What this means is I remember to marinate it, in the morning. (With maple-bourbon!)

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I am twenty something, and what this means is 60% of the time I feel inadequate and awkward. What this means is sometimes it’s just easier to stay home. What this means is I don’t get out as much as I probably should. What this means is I am a hermit.

I am a twenty something, and what this means is I miss my friends. What this means is it’s really hard to make new ones. What this means is I do a lot of Friend Dating. (In a weird way, it’s just as nerve-racking as Real Dating. In case you were wondering.)

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I am a twenty something, and what this means is my mom is still my #1 speed dial. What this means is she’s the one I call when my bread won’t rise. (When my sauce won’t reduce, when my fish won’t flake.) What this means is everything I do feels like practice.

I am a twenty something, and what this means is I am paralyzed with uncertainty. What this means is I wonder if I’m so wedded to love at first sight that I’m missing all the really great people who haven’t come with a thunderbolt attached. What this means is I am so, so afraid of settling.

I am a twenty something, and what this means — mostly — is I’m bumbling along. What this means is I know I’m going too slowly. What this means is I make myself sprint, when you’re not looking. What this means is I’m planning on getting faster.

What this means is I’m trying.

(Inspired by Fortesa Latifi.)

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