A wise friend told me tonight: twenty-eight is the worst. Twenty-seven, you’re still in the young category. Twenty-eight, you understand that you are headed towards thirty. But when you’re thirty, the fun starts. Cause you can begin an another decade countdown. I shrugged my shoulders. He said:”call me when you’re thirty”.
These benchmarks are so artificial, but at the same time, they do have a meaning. We ritualize them and celebrate them. So this goddamn time, gathered folks I call friends, put on that dress that is too fancy to wear anywhere and thus has been sitting in the closet for a while, piled on make-up and as, my friend likes to say, I aimed at McQueen and resulted a drag queen.
Actually, I’ve lost weight and looked fabulous.
Now, I am snuggled in new pj’s, thinking about what I thought I’d be by now, and what I’m not and what I’ve left out and what I’ll never get. Of course, at times like this, one is bound to remember the days long passed and shake one’s head and regret that the time has stolen one’s youth. Actually, I kind of regret my youth. I regret being so rule-abiding, so normal, so well-adapted. I should’ve had red hair, I should’ve sneaked out of school, I should’ve had more boyfriends. I should’ve kissed more. I should’ve broken more rules.
In the end, in the real, honest end, I am still ordinary, I have an ordinary job, an ordinary apartment, ordinary hobbies, ordinary looks, everything is well, but nothing is outstanding. I have no special talent, I look cute but not beautiful, I have not achieved any distinctive career position, I have not made a difference, I read, but just enough to qualify for an educated person, but not enough to actually know literature, I watch films, but I am an amateur film-lover, I know little about everything and in the end, I know nothing. There’s nothing I’ve done that differentiates me from others.
When I was twenty, everything seemed possible. College was exiting, I thought I’d graduate to do great things, but I never got to them.
Sometimes I wonder if my life makes any difference, since I am important only to one person and one cat. Which is an achievement. I can’t deny that. Those two mean a lot.
Anyway, done with the blues. Tomorrow, I’m gone to Armenia, to compete with my team in What When Where tournament, I’ve been looking forward to that. God, I wish I could stop being good at this game, and start being outstanding. I miss the time, when I was in ninth grade and won the title of the best speaker in debates, among the whole country. I was such a boring, but such a successful teenager.
Maybe we have rituals to make us look back, to evaluate, even to feel bad for ourselves for one night, feel some sadness, feel some remorse, so that we can improve our life in the next decade countdown. Or what’s the point of sitting around long narrow table, gathering people that barely know each other, participating in this communal eating?
Or maybe, we need these rituals to keep us from sulking too much and to remind us that we actually have a lot of friends that like to give us gifts to keep us happy.
Thanks friends. God knows, without you, I’d be long swept by my imaginary misery.