Quote in the middle says, “Be in love with your life. Every detail of it.”
There’s something beautiful about getting older. The youth slowly, but surely, fading from your face. The increasing confidence in your decisions, even if your head is telling you it’s not quite sure, your gut is telling you - we got this, we’ll be okay, trust me. The big things become the little things, the little things are finally recognized as the big things. Friendships become more solid, more genuine, and natural gravitation pulls you towards the people who truly matter, and fade away from those that only bring frustration and heartache.
It brings the ability to look into the past - however recent and with as much hazy-eyed focus as someone still on the young end of life can - and recognize goals that have been accomplished, incredible memories that have been made, and the wisdom to distinguish personal goals from momentary lapses of fun. Never, ever cut out the fun. But the fun shouldn’t be at the expense of success.
My twenties so far have been a rollercoaster of ups and downs, as they naturally would be. All the things you’re supposed to experience according to basic cable coming of age dramas happened. I got my heart broken, once roughly, a few times more gently. I moved out for the first time - first with many friends, then just one, to now a beautiful dream place in Los Angeles where my father doesn’t look around at the neighborhood and shudder. Much.
I worked on television shows I had begged my parents to let me stay up and watch just ten years prior. The idea that someone not only gave me permission to be on set, but paid me to be there was mind blowing, and one of the first moments I realized, this is actually possible for someone like me. I could live in this city, this could be my life. Months later, a great mentor to many was lost. Part of that world, I’ve since left behind.
Traveled from coast to coast on tours with bands in the top 10 of my most played tracklists. We showered in the rain in Iowa, and raced from Philly to Camden after catching LFO play a dive bar - turning out to be the last time we’d see one of them alive - pulling the taxi directly in front of our bus so our driver couldn’t leave without us. Experienced racism fully alive in this country. Particularly twice to my face, once in Arizona, once somewhere in the Midwest, and once behind my back in the South. Shared a blissful, freeing moment in San Antonio, to a teary phone call bringing ones worst fears to possible reality somewhere in Canada. We threw parties, always danced, witnessed professional and personal relationships crumble from those trapped in drug fueled binges and relapses, cried, cursed, lost our minds, drove everyone insane, but celebrated our youth. It was the best of times, and at some points through our limited fishbowl scope of reality, was the worst.
And most importantly during these crazy twenties, I took the first steps towards a career I’ve wanted since I was a young child, barely in school, writing out stories filled with characters based on celebrity musicians and about my friends in worlds I’d grow up to actually live in. After years of keeping it private, not only was my writing encouraged by friends, but encouraged by creative professionals. As I begin another year of life under a shiny new age number, I look to my schedule of stories and series in development and events and festivals in the works and take a deep breath and, smile. This is magical.
"Things change as you get older," an aging actress told me once, a couple years back as we sat on a random soundstage waiting for the crew to need us. "You’re still young. You don’t realize life doesn’t become what you want it to be."
Maybe, for some people. For others, may we all remain blissfully unaware of any societal demands on where we should be at any given age. The typical, nuclear family-style path in life simply doesn’t work for everyone. May we redefine life as what is appropriate to us, and our desires, and live the life that is truly best for us. And if this post is simply fueled with foolishness and hunger from a youthful optimist, as I’m sure that actress would lament, may I always stay that way.
I will never profess that life is perfect. Perfection implies that something is complete, finished, and this life isn’t. Every day is a work in progress, a day in which dreams are chipped away, and molded into something different, something better. On the cusp of thirty, maybe I’ll look back and wonder, what the hell was I doing with my time? Suppose I’ll know on that day.
In the meantime, in the now, to whatever powers that may be upstairs - I’m thankful, grateful, and looking forward to aging with grace and dignity.
And plenty of vodka. I am still in my twenties, after all.