Isn’t it supposed to be better than this?
So, I am about to turn 35. How the hell did that happen?
Right before I turned 30, I had what I now refer to as my “Quarter Life Crisis.” I wasn’t old enough yet for a mid-life crisis, and was too old for a plain, old tantrum, so that moniker has come to feel most appropriate. But, during my QLC, I really went a little nuts. For a minute. But, I am cool now. Kinda. Umm… Sort of. Oh, shit– did I mention I am about to be 35? How does anyone get kinda sort of okay about that?
When I went through the QLC, I told my husband that I was moving to London and that he could come along if he wanted. Seriously? But, he was so sweet about it and very calmly just asked, “Um. Okay. Now, honey, tell me why you need to move to London.” What a gem, really. He was really patient and just tried to help me through a tough time that just simply amounted to my fear of having to be a grown-up once and for all. I mean, when you’re in your twenties and you sleep until 11:30, get drunk and start a fight, dance in the street for no reason, change jobs three times, or take a trip to Tibet to “find yourself,” people will excuse your behavior as being that of a “stupid kid” and you can all have a good laugh. But, if you do that dumb shit in your thirties, you’re creepy, immature, alcoholic, mentally dysfunctional, a slacker, a loser or a slob.
And, now I am going to be 35: mid-thirties. I just don’t even know how that happened. I am an old, married lady with two kids and a mortgage and a Jeep and a dog. I live in the suburbs. I still get my news from a paper. I have never tweeted . I do yoga. I watch “The Mentalist.” I go to bed before 10:00. Every night. I had three sips of beer two days ago and worried about how many calories were in it and whether it would make me too tired to stay up long enough to read a chapter of the book I’m working on.
There was a time in my life when I thought I was wasting my life if I didn’t go out at least six nights each week. I did tequila shots and knew I looked cool when I smoked my Marlboro Lights (which I could buy at the local gas station– three packs for five bucks). I rollerbladed. I listened to Liz Phair and owned a discman. I drove with my friends to Niagara Falls so that we could drink Molson XXX at the age of 19. Legally.
Who is this woman now who spends more time surrounded by the dulcet tones of Coffeehouse radio on Sirius than the fabulous noise of The Pixies?
If my Quarter Life Crisis occurred just five years ago, what is this current moment of strife? Whatever it is, it is probably important for everyone younger than I am who is reading this to know that at any age, it is possible that you will be lost, not know who you are, not know where you are going, not know what you want to be when you grow up and not want to grow up much, anyway. I didn’t think much about being 35 as a younger person, but now that that is fast approaching, I can say that it came quickly and quietly – without warning – and I am still not sure what each day will bring. Except maybe an impending need for Depends, Preparation-H, Epsom Salts, aspirin and a tremendous urge to watch 60 Minutes (which is actually a really good show, y’all! I mean it!).