Nobody likes you when you’re twenty three. The first time I heard that line from Blink 182 I was seven years old and had no idea what the song was about but like most hits, it was infectively catchy. I fell in love with “What’s My Age Again”. I loved it when I got on a skateboard for the first (and last) time, because I felt so dope and punk rock. I loved it when I was barely a teenager and got drunk for the first time. I loved it when my girlfriends and I sang our hearts out on karaoke night at a local Irish pub. But if there is an end to this awesome mental montage that plays to this song, it ended last night when it came on my Pandora playlist. It ended when I realized that next week I will be twenty three.
The moment felt somewhat surreal. I was sitting on my couch stuffing my face with a smorgasbord of chips, pizza rolls, and jalapeño poppers. I had just finished playing Batman Arkham Knight for eight hours straight. I had to tear myself away from my controller because I had a splitting headache…and I felt like I was neglecting my boyfriend. For the first time, I felt incredibly depressed by Blink 182 – well, besides Adam’s Song, I Miss You, and Stay Together- but I digress. My friend texted me around the same time I turned off the console, and asked me what I was doing. Suddenly I didn’t want to do anything. I didn’t feel like I deserved to do anything fun like go out or even gaming anymore. I felt like I didn’t have anything to celebrate.
I haven’t gotten my bachelors degree yet or traveled to Europe or written a NY Times Bestselling novel! Mary Shelley had completed the Frankenstein manuscript when she was only twenty years old. Veronica Roth is twenty six now and Divergent was published in 2011, so she had already written a manuscript and found a publisher at like, twenty two. I, on the other had, still live at home, in what is basically my parent’s basement and think the release of Kingdom Hearts 3 will be the climax of my life. Being the fun and caring person she is, my friend texted me this…
I absolutely love this girl but the last time I went out and got crazy, I ended up coming home at five a.m. which is pretty typical for someone my age, but I had a photoshoot at 9 a.m. I was bloated from all the beer I drank. I felt like crap. I was irritated. I wanted to leave immediately when I had to wait for hair and makeup (maybe models aren’t divas, maybe they’re just always hungover). I don’t quite know my limit yet. Actually, I know my limit but I push it because I feel entitled to do so. I do work pretty hard. Most of my friends work two or three jobs in order to live on their own, or they work while going to school like I do. We have all memorized the equation work hard = play hard. Nearly every song and our social media feeds consistently remind us that we are entitled to this lifestyle. Yet, doing exactly that and going out is what gets me in trouble and makes me feel like I don’t do enough. On the other hand, I have gotten some epic material for short stories and novels from my nights out.
Well, I’ll be turning twenty three next week and no one will like me because I am on the cusp of adulthood yet still profoundly childish. Luckily for me, I have been given an allotted amount of ‘let’s get crazy’ behavior. My generation is pretty accepting of this culture – especially when it comes to women. Look no further than the movie written by Amy Schumer’s Trainwreck. Apparently you can make a bunch of money from capitalizing on being promiscuous, smoking weed, and avoiding anything resembling a healthy relationship. I am not saying this is a good or bad thing, just making an observation and pointing out how incredibly difficult it is to traverse this time in my life as a woman. The Madonna/Whore dichotomy has either disintegrated completely or become a million times stronger in modern American society. I can’t tell which it is. The same goes for my life right now. I am either doing really well or can be considered a complete failure by some standards. As you can tell, I am not thrilled about turning twenty three so fuck off Blink 182 for bringing me to this profound moment of self-realization: I can’t act my age because I’ve never been this age before, I can only compare myself to others who have.