Monday, February 23, 2009

One year older and wiser, too

Recently I turned 27 and it made me angry. And not just annoyed or irritated. I was livid. I was hostile. People were wishing me happy birthday, but I was ready to punch somebody.


Why? First, I’m not sure what I have to show for my 27 years of life. I’m 27, but I’m still in college and still live in a crappy apartment and still have weird and often creepy roommates. I have a cool but low-paying job and don’t have health insurance and live paycheck to paycheck. It feels like I should’ve accomplished so much more by now. Sometimes I remember being 18 and I’m pretty sure that at age 18 I never imagined my 27-year-old self being single, eating ramen noodles and still in college. I think my 18-year-old self would be severely disappointed in my 27-year-old self.

Second, I’m afraid all of my good times are behind me. I’m about to graduate college, which means I get to start working for the rest of my life. I even tried put off the real world for a few years by going to graduate school, but the real world still caught up with me.

Third, I’m afraid of looking old. Call me vain all you want, but don’t kid yourself. Nobody wants to look old. I found my first gray hair on the eve of my 25th birthday, although I didn’t think it was a big deal at the time. I just yanked it out and that was that. I thought it was over, but pretty soon a few of that gray hair’s friends came looking for it. Then the other day a person asked me if I had kids. Do I look old enough to have kids? I hope not. I’m not old enough to have kids. I’m still a child myself, ask anyone. Just because all my friends are reproducing like rabbits (or some other mammal/insect/crustacean that reproduces a lot) doesn’t mean I’m going to. Maybe I just look old, although the other day someone asked me if I was over 21 and I could’ve kissed her.

But there definitely are some advantages to getting older. Getting older has it’s drawbacks, sure, but I am definitely wiser for it. I see my friends a couple of years younger than I am making all sorts of stupid mistakes and saying all sorts of stupid things and I just kick back and pretend like I never did or said anything like that.

27-year-old Jesse has just learned a lot over the years and has become a 100 percent cooler guy. I remember 21-year-old Jesse and think, “I wouldn’t even want to be around that dude.” And I don’t even want to talk about 19-year-old Jesse.

The best part of getting older is I am through being cool. I am who I am, and suckers better just deal with it. Each year I care less and less about what other people think. It is a good feeling.

And sometimes people younger than me have even come to me for advice! Advice! From me! I just say, “Well, when I was your age I just…” and make some crap up, and sometimes throw in a quote from Abraham Lincoln or Shakespeare for good measure. When it first started I would laugh and laugh, but then I realized that people I have asked for advice growing up probably did the same thing to me.

I guess that is the essence of growing up: getting good at faking it.

22 comments:

  1. I hate growing up. The new year rolls and I'm anxious instead of excited. REALLY.

    ReplyDelete
  2. i would really like to hear your best Shakespeare quote...

    ReplyDelete
  3. "This above all — to thine own self be true,
    And it must follow, as the night the day,
    Thou canst not then be false to any man."
    - Polonius, Hamlet

    I know that it is controversial and everyone quotes that noise, but it's the only one I know.

    ReplyDelete
  4. If I met the 18 year old me, I would bitch slap me so bad!
    I'm so glad I experienced all that I experienced when I was younger but I would never go back!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do you quote that bit of Hamlet to everyone that asks for some advice?

    And then tell them to make their OWN interpretations of it? :P

    I'm soon 25... I'm really thinking I ought to get a move on with life. But then again, maybe I've done more than most other 24 year olds. I really have no idea.

    I think I should just try to live life as well as possible, and see what happens!

    ReplyDelete
  6. i think life is what you make of it, and i totally agree that the older i get, the less i care what other people think of me. mostly i just do what i do, and live life the way i think i should. it's turned out alright so far :o)

    ReplyDelete
  7. Holy moly, you and I are the SAME PERSON!
    well, I'm 26, but am still an UNDERGRAD. NOOO! I have a "cool but low-paying job", and I live paycheck to paycheck too.
    (I do have health insurance, but only because I live in Canada and it's free for me because I am so broke...but no dental or optometry coverage...and I have 2 impacted wisdom teeth at the moment)
    all my friends have like 7 kids, and I'm not even sure I remembered to feed the cat.
    but, as you said, on the bright side, I am no longer 18-year-old me, and I totally don't care if I am "cool" anymore. (which is useful, as I am in a couple first-year classes - don't ask why - with all the just-out-of-high-schoolers)
    ha! sorry for the x-long comment, I guess I just really related to your post.
    :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. Cry me a river about the gray hair — I had gray hair in elementary school (yeah, that's not a joke. I wish it was).
    I, too, have recently experienced the "one year older" thing. It does feel pretty good having people come to me for advice (like my younger roommates). Unfortunately, they are asking me things about relationships — I'll be honest, I'm just making stuff up when they ask me about that stuff. But it seems to work. Of course, I'm only around for the short term consequences of that advice. I want to be far away when that advice causes them to crash and burn.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I recently just turned 20, and I was terrified (still am!) I never thought I'd be where I am now. My 18 year old self would be relieved in a way, but ultimately disappointed. I don't even want to think about future birthdays.

    ReplyDelete
  10. i know this may sound like a cliche, but really, age doesn't matter. it's just a number. i often forget how old i am until someone asks me for my age. and trust me, it took me more than 5 seconds to actually try to remember my age. sometimes longer. because i always believe, it's not the age, it's "me". "I" matter :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. Happy birthday, Jacob!
    ...
    (Please don't punch me.)

    ReplyDelete
  12. Birthdays used to be a lot of fun. But now it just means getting older and older. I wish I could go back to being 18 years old.

    ReplyDelete
  13. In the words of Kris Roe, "Being grown up isn't half as fun as growing up, these are the best days of our lives..."

    Look at all these nerds--commenting on your blog in the late hours of the night/ early hours of the morning. You are getting super famous. Maybe you will write a book or three one day and make trillions of dollars.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Lindsey that is easy for you to say you are still growing up. I have been the same height since like 7th grade or something. No really though I am cool with my age for the time being. If we are quoting rock and roll then I'd add one from the great Mike Herrera of MxPx when he said "I'm still young and I'd like to stay that way, cause growing up won't make everything OK." Now to make that relevent, that record "The Ever Passing Moment" came out in 2000 and Mike Herrera was 23, I am 22 that means at least by Mike Herrera's standards I am not a grown up yet either. All things considered I don't think 27 is that old either.

    ReplyDelete
  15. do you know all these people that comment on your blog? i swear some appear to be random stragglers from the search engines...

    ReplyDelete
  16. 27? Are you sure? I may need to see some documentation of this, because I'm having a hard time believing it...

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy birthday?

    Good luck with the age crisis. Getting old can be tough.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hello!

    Interesting. I totally agree with your thoughts. I am going to be 24 this year and totally hating it. Though I dont want to be 18 again. I preson the person I am now.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I'm 27. I'll be 28 in a couple months. I have no grey hair. But if it makes you feel better, checking your blog was one of the first things I did upon re-entering the US. Well, first I went through customs and reported my missing luggage. Then I slept. Then I took a shower. Then I went to Costco. Then I got some pictures developed and washed my car. But then I checked this. For real... you're high priority to me.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yo Brennan, whoever said I said Jacob was old? That lyric was recited in consolation. Jacob IS still growing up, so that applies to him as well. 27 is young, I think.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I got my first gray hair when I was 16!!! What are you complaining about?

    Oh! Funny fact? Nobody had ever asked me for ID until I turned 21. Now I smile every time people think I'm under 18.

    ReplyDelete