Both transitioning between one part of our life into another, my good friend M and I spent a recent afternoon going to the gym for several hours (no exaggeration, actually), sunning ourselves slightly (we’re embarrassingly pale for July), and talking about our futures. What’s coming seems to be a popular topic of interest among the majority of my 20-something friends, as we’re all continuously waiting for a grand gesture from the universe that somehow never seems like it’s coming.
(Until it does, that is. And it always does, eventually…probably, maybe, hopefully…right???)
As we’re walking back to my apartment in desperate need for a shower, we are faced with toddler traffic. Three strollers with happy, bouncy, adorable babies are coming toward us, their nannies leading the way. Reminded I live on the Upper West Kiddie Side, we moved aside to let them pass before crossing Amsterdam. Getting closer to my place, I casually say to M, still thinking of the cute blue-eyed, dimpled two year old, I say, “Isn’t it strange to think that we’ll probably have a baby of our own in ten years?” Not one who is keen on commitment and breaks out in hives at the thought of trying on a wedding gown, M said: “Yeah, it’s odd but think of all that’s happened in the last ten years!”
Hmm, let’s think about it.
In the past ten years, I’ve graduated from high school, started, and finished college. I’ve moved from my first home to a second home, from that second home to a lakehouse, from that lakehouse to a third home. I’ve packed up my all of my things to move to college, then a year later, packed up more things to move into an apartment, put those things in a storage unit, only to take them out a week later to move into another apartment. And then again to move to New York, my family mailing a box a week for six weeks. I’ve had several New York addresses. I’ve interned and transplanted myself in the city. I’ve bought furniture twice, paid utility and credit card bills, taken out students loans and started to pay them back, with a lovely thing called interest. I’ve saved up my money, only to spend it, and then save it up again, and again…and again.
I lost my virginity and then proceeded to sleep with x-number of people I’ll never reveal to this blog. I’ve fallen in love three times, learned how to orgasm, how to break up with someone, and how to nurse a heartbreak with puppies, alcohol, and cupcakes. I’ve shattered spirits and hearts, made friends and lost them. Joined groups and made them better, left them and started new ones on my own. I’ve experienced the annoying curse of Mother Nature for being female 120 times. I started getting acne and never stopped. I learned the difference between a push-up and a regular bra, miraculously in front of the mirror at Victoria’s Secret with the saleslady encouraging me to purchase a dozen outside the door: “Don’t they look great, pretty thing?”
I’ve gained ten pounds, only to lose 15. I’ve gone through clothes and through men, trying different ones on for size, only to find they just didn’t fit quite right. I learned how wear makeup, how to straighten my hair, and how to just accept my natural little, uncontrollable waves as they are. I passed the driver’s test in North Carolina, only to crash my car a month later, and have my parents say a prayer of thanksgiving when I moved to New York and was off the road, off their insurance. I became a runner and slacked on my schedule when things heated up with Mr. Idea and again, when things became official and steady with Mr. Possibility. I learned to play tennis and then took almost every guy I could to play a match with me as a great second date (and to see them run a bit). I’ve traveled across the states, but not abroad, though my piggy bank will soon allow me to go overseas. I’ve seen my first byline appear in a tiny publication in a tiny town in North Carolina, and then on Cosmo’s website in bold, beautiful pink letters I’ll never forget. I’ve had two four-page spreads in national publications and started this blog, that you, whoever you are, wherever you are, are reading, right now. (Thank you!)
I’ve figured out I like it on top more than I like it from the side and while charming and handsome is great, dependable and cute is better. I’ve fallen for the wrong guy and passed up someone who may have been the right guy if he was just a few inches taller (or larger). I’ve been kissed in Grand Central Station and the Lincoln Center, as I always dreamed, and figured out that sometimes dreams are more vivid in your head than they will ever be in reality. I’ve landed my first job, paid my dues as a hostess (with the most-ess), a maid (seriously), a freelancer (always), retail sales clerk (folding clothes, yay!), and a babysitter (girls are better than boys).
And now, I’m here. A 20-something with a lot of highs and lows, ups and downs, trails and successes, loves and losses, hopes and failures, miles and travels behind her. But you know – it’s only been two decades. I can’t even begin to list what I hope (and know) is ahead of me.
Daily Gratitude: I’m thankful for huge coffees and the company of a new best friend :)