Just Shy of a Quarter Century

I’m turning 24 in two weeks.
As the big date slowly inches forward to make me another year older I find myself reflecting on my place in life more and more. I am not the only one, it seems. The early twenties is seeming more and more like a universal time for young adults to reflect on what the hell they want to do with their degrees, their love lives, and careers. I’m wading into a pool filled with adults of varying ages, but since I cannot know what it is like to be 35 until I am, I’ll stick to the early twenties section of the kiddie pool of life.
I’ve been working as a server for about a year and a half now. I feel serving is getting more and more constraining catering to the needs of hundreds of tourists, families, artists and pompous oafs. I’ve now updated my wish-board on my bedroom wall to include details of my next European Adventure, what my car is going to look and run like when I buy it, and the next two classes I plan on taking, but these are all puzzle pieces in a bigger life-driven formula. What’s after these pieces? More pieces? uh oh… Someone’s peed in the pool and I don’t want to hang out here anymore.
When I got berated by my boss for the second time this month a few days ago I soothed my seething mind with the thought of the scathingly honest and hilarious book I will write about the restaurant I work in when I am older. I imagined the millions of people laughing over the haunting details of the restaurant, and the look on my Boss’s face when he reads about himself. That made me smile and forget how upset I was. But, my book isn’t written yet. I haven’t gotten a big break yet that will allow me to quit the “day job” and be an actor. I have to be patient and keep building toward the big goals, the deeper end of the pool that is piss free and looks like adults are just doing easy laps back and forth.
But what does “When I am older” mean? There doesn’t seem to be a starting line, a You are getting older and more adult right… NOW. Does 24 mean that? Does 17? Does 45? So, if the line changes and moves and shifts, I’ll need to define it for myself I guess, one day, when I’m more “mature”. And then I’ll write my book. And travel Europe. And be a successful Actor. And quit my day job. And find a cure for Cancer. And bring world peace…
It’s all one day at a time. And I’ll be 24 soon. And life keeps moving, but my dreams can keep me afloat in the kiddie pool for now.

August 22, 2011 at 7:28 pm by Natalie Allen