Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Back when I knew it all

It's been almost two years since I started this blog on February 22, 2008. I started it at work, from my private office, behind my mahogany desk, in a fit of feeling old. My first entries were about my short-lived experimentation with the South Beach diet, my attempts to manage my personal finances, and suddenly feeling grown up. The entire tag-line for my blog, "in which the author expounds upon life over the age of 25," stemmed from this sense that 25 was an invisible, equatorial line, and most of the people in my life were below it while I was above it. T was 24. Our friends in Richmond were 24 or younger. I was "about" to turn 27. I felt older and out of place.

Isn't it funny, then, that I feel so much younger now? Younger than I want to feel, I might add. I feel this way for three reasons: First, because I don't have a kid. This is the kind of younger that you feel when all your friends got their period and you hadn't yet. It's the kind of younger that isn't really a reflection of your age, but is actually some kind of milestone or rite of passage with as much or as little meaning as you choose to bestow upon it. Second, because I am in school. Unlike the private office and the bi-monthly salary, Jansport backpacks and student loans just exude an aura of youth. There's no two ways around it: while everyone else has to get up for work in the morning, you are up all night doing homework or going out with friends over winter break. Third, because I am not getting paid. For many people, having a steady job is not an indication of adulthood. There are non-traditional employees, stay at home parents and med/PhD students who are quite grown up. But for me, part of feeling like an adult is knowing I have a steady stream of income upon which I can rely in times of financial need, or simply for the comfort of knowing that I don't have to ask my parents for any help if need be. In fairness, I don't. T is doing the bacon-generating while I'm in school, and I'm so grateful for that. He plays the responsible one who wakes up early every morning and puts on nice clothes, takes vacation days to have time off and sits in a cube from 9 to 6. Thanks to him, I can be investing full-time in my future career as a lawyer, which will hopefully pay off for both of us, and will result in me feeling much more adult than I ever have before. But for now, I am still the one playing Wii to alleviate the stress of final exams.

I could write a whole post on why the fact that I feel less grown up now than I did two years ago is a good thing. I have a love-hate relationship with the stage in my life. But I have to stop writing because I have a date with the people at the work-study office on campus. With any luck, that whole lack-of-income thing will be taken care of before the spring semester starts!

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