Twenties

28, or, How Keva Got His Groove Back

Today is my 28th birthday. I’ll spare you the whiny existential, ontological, and anthropocentric rants that have haunted my previous birthday blog posts. Like yearbook haircuts, they are hard to look back on. Speaking of yearbooks…

I saw The Ataris the other night, here in Rochester. They are this pop-punk band from the late 90’s and early 2000s that I once obsessed over. I was in and out of a lot of relationships in high school, and it’s safe to say that The Ataris were unofficial therapists for me.

They had some MTV success back around 2005 with “In This Diary” and their cover of “Boys of Summer,” but of course, their best stuff came before that on Kung Fu Records.

Anyway, I talked to The Ataris singer, Kris, at the show. I was struck by how identical he remains, at least, to the fifteen year ago version of himself that I saw many times, singing on stage in California. He looks like a 40 year old trapped in a 20 year old body. He was very nice, I don’t mean to slight him or offend him. I just mean, when he sings, “Being grown up, isn’t half as fun as growing up, these are the best days of our lives,” I get sad because I worry he believes that, that he is holding on to something that no longer exists, and that I am helping fund this sort of delusion, by paying money at the door of some sketchy club so that he can go on pretending.

WOW. Whiny existential. Sorry. Let me get back on track.

How Keva Got His Groove Back

I have this joke with my wife that I am still in my early 20s. The joke goes, 20-27 is “early twenties” and 28 and beyond is “normal twenties.” This means, as of today, that I am officially in my twenties. (more…)

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27

I turned 27 today. Every so often I like to change my age—keep it fresh. I’m a creature of habit that way. What can you say about getting older? Nothing really. Sometimes life is swell, and you want time to stand still to be able to appreciate it. But then the moment passes and we’re on to life’s frustrations and complications and standing arounds.

I had to work on my birthday. That’s the worst. 6am to 1:30pm. It was okay though, better early than late. Right now, my wife is making me a vegetarian eggs benedict (veggie benny: my favorite) for dinner, and I’m comfortable in the new clothes I’ve purchased for myself. Later, we’re going to a local brewery and grabbing a drink and desert. And after that…. if I’m really lucky, I’ll— what? I was going to say watch Skyfall on Netflix.

I’m trying to find something witty to end this little soliloquy with. Life just keeps moving forward, don’t it? I’m 27. Good lord, wasn’t I just learning how to drive and smashing my red ’96 Chevy Blazer into a stranger’s car in my high-school parking lot?  (more…)

The “Suspended Early-Twenties” Vortex

This Fall semester, I am reentering college as an old man. Twenty-six now, I’ll be twenty-seven in November. I’ve reached a conclusion regarding my age—as flippant as it might sound, I urge you to accept my sincerity—I’m ancient.

The past few days I’ve been attending Orientation Week at the University of Rochester, and it’s been great. I’ve been floored by the level of genuineness the school shows towards its students. I’ve spoken with alumni and veteran students, and it seems U of R never lets up. The university is with you the entire way, offering help and encouragement as you progress.

But yeah, I’m older. Being surrounded by Freshmen doesn’t seem to help.

As a transfer (Junior standing), I should be a little older; I get that; I do. But even the transfers are young. Yesterday morning I attended “Breakfast with the President and the Deans,” a transfer-only event (no lousy freshmen).

Sitting with my fellow-transfer students, I quickly grasped two things:

1. The average age of the table, excluding myself, was twenty-one.

2. At twenty-six, I might as well have been in my fifties. I just don’t relate like I used to.

Vortex

My wife says I’m suspended in an “Early-Twenties” Vortex. She’s creative like that.

Basically, the last few years I’ve been surrounded by folks in their early twenties: my friends, my band-mates, my co-workers. When you’re twenty-four and twenty-five, twenty-year-olds don’t bother you. You still relate.

At (almost) twenty-seven, I feel myself growing cold to the trivial discussions of “this is my first time away from home, and I need attention.” I could care less about your many trips to the bar. You got drunk, good for you.

Beer is still new and exciting for most young twenty-somethings. Personally, I’m tired of discussing the subtle differences of Keystone and Budweiser; it’s just not my thing. I realize “I drink one with dinner” is not the hippest sentence to utter, but luckily getting older relieves the stress of being hip.

There’s other differences. I’m married, so I’m not trying to get laid.

At twenty-one, getting laid wasn’t just an idea, it was a life goal; I based every decision around it: when I went outside, what I ate, why I got out of bed… I see it now in younger kids like a stamp on their foreheads; was I that obvious?

It’s cool, I guess. College is about getting laid for a lot of people. It’s about exploring and experimenting. It’s about being away from home for the first time and making bad decisions.

What if you’ve already done all that? What if you’ve already found yourself?

I desire to make a difference in the world. I’m ready to meet intellectual people and discuss meaningful topics. Cheesy as it sounds, I’m ready to make the most of my education.

Too-Cool for School

As I read over what I’ve written here, I see how asshole it all sounds. I’m too cool for twenty-year-olds.

That’s not it at all.

I had an amazing conversation with two twenty-year-olds on the first day of orientation. They were both amazing, incredibly smart people (smarter than I was at twenty) who deeply inspired me. It’s not the age I wish to distance myself from, but a state of mind.

Maybe I’m in some late-twenties life-crisis.

I once again find myself without a clear conclusion. Like a case of The X-files, I’m so close to capturing the truth but can’t quite take it home.

So goes life.

At least I can see the forehead stamp and laugh a little bit. Maybe Solomon was wrong; wisdom starts not at the fear of the Lord, but when we learn to laugh at ourselves and our pasts.

Wish me luck as I go forward.

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