The Quarter-Life Crisis of the Future

FUTURE

You know what would be super helpful? If I could pull a Raven and see the fucking future. That would be swell.

*Sigh*.

Today has been a day. It’s Saturday evening. How about that? I traded my early morning writing session Saturdays for evening time writing session Saturdays because my sister showed up to my home this morning and kindly knocked on my door to wake me from my ugly-sweaty slumber. No AC is rough. But I was incredibly thankful to see her this morning and spend some quality sister-time with her.

Instead of my usual Saturday morning vanilla latte, I traded it for a cold Riesling and I regret no parts of it. Other than I genuinely cannot afford the luxury of a glass of wine really, right now, so I’m just going to say fuck it and TREAT MYSELF. Because today has been a fucking day. Why? Let’s do a quickie quickie recap.

So, I waited patiently all morning for my paycheck to come in the mail and as the mailman trekked up the incredibly steep hill that my house is planted on, he walked up to me with a smile as I sat there, on a metal bench my dad solo-hauled up said hill by himself, with a smile on my face that only the knowing of money coming your way, and also you’re poor, could produce. He handed me two pieces of mail; A light bill, and coupons for fucking Marlboro. So, side note, I don’t smoke so I just kindly hand them off to my brother or sister, but I signed up for the coupons because of my two-exes ago. It’s hard to keep track, I apologize… Woof.

Anyways, so super bummed my paycheck didn’t come in the mail. Like super fucking bummed. And as I dazedly got into my car and started to drive to meet my sister at my brother’s work in the city. I accidentally and absentmindedly made a left on a busy South Hills highway going the opposite direction. It ended me at my bank in a plaza down the road from my house, right next to the Starbucks I used to slave away at, and walked in to a kind lady, we’ll call her Patricia because I completely forgot her name because fuck today, that walked up to me and asked if I needed assistance. Maybe it was the desperate deer-in-the-headlights stare I had on my face at the overwhelming line forming at the teller section of the tiny bank, or maybe it was destiny. I doubt the latter, but boy did she probably regret picking me out of the line of people like she did once she got me into her office and the glass door closed behind.

I’ll truncate some of this fluff because it’s a lot of info yinz don’t need to know about estate accounts…

But basically it ended with me crying in Patricia’s office as she uncomfortably sat at her computer, clacking away trying to scrounge for these documents I submitted to them back in February. So I broke down. In a bank. In one of those fancy-looking offices. And I had to eat my shame and try to talk clearly because I just was snapping internally. It wasn’t cute, and I have sooooo many regerts* about it but hey. Patricia was a solid sport about it, and started talking about her daughter who moved here and graduated from Pitt and said how 26 is a great year because you’re figuring shit out and can go to the bars and such. Patricia, my Pocono Mountain Queen, you spoke to the low-key alcoholic inside me and gave me life to pick up my overwhelming shame tears and “perk the fuck back up, buttercup”.

So why did I cry in a bank? Truthfully, I thought about the past and it kind of weakened me in the knees a little. Not in the way that you would think that’s good; like looking at a man you are head-over heels for (that really doesn’t know you because you’re creepy and have been stalking him via Facebook/at the bar/his IG account because you are trash and can’t help yourself). I promise that the example I gave in parenthesis never happened at any point in time. Scouts honor. What the fuck am I talking about, I never was a boy scout? LOL/not LOL.

But what made the waterworks hesitantly start trickling out was my desperate need for the future, and my slight remembrance of the past.

Lately, I’ve been listening to “Kids” by OneRepublic and it takes me back to the plane ride to the Dominican Republic where I slipped in my headphones for my first international flight, ever, and I felt so happy. Things were different less than a year ago, and I wasn’t happier at that moment. It’s just what it was. I felt incredibly free, and privileged to be able to do some incredible things; travel, experience new foods, places, people, and things. It was amazing.

Then what made everything so much worse was I thought of the common 23 year old and thought about what they would be doing right now. Then, obviously to make things worse because I’m terrible (LOL but really…) I compared myself to the image I made in my head.

Truly? What I want more than anything? I want to be able to feel free again. I want the promise of the future to drown out my incredibly heavy emotional and financial and life responsibility. But Isn’t that adulthood? Maintaining responsibility and keep on keeping on? Ignoring the stark problem like a frozen fish snatched right out the ice box at Wholey’s in The Strip District and smacked across your rosy, beautiful, and ageless face.

Yes. Yes it is. But also, no. No it’s not.

I think we, as young adults, are scrutinized quite frequently for thinking we need to leave our toys at the door and proceed with a dark, black-white-and-gray view of the world. I’m a slight hypocrite and carry myself like I burned my toys in a fire pit in the wilds of Pittsburgh-Suburbia and fled to the city to be merrily gay and super professional.

The sad part? I actually believed it, kind of; my show; the face I wore for a while and that I’m simply tired of wearing. I understand the necessity of responsibility and acting like an adult when it is necessary, but I think I need to learn, as many other young adults and full-grown adults alike, to know when to be a kid again.

One of my favorite lines in “Kids” by OneRepublic is…

I refuse to look back thinking days were better just because they’re younger days.

You know what? I couldn’t fucking agree more. I should refuse to think that, because its a common misconception between us grown-folk. 

I need to teach myself that responsibility is responsibility. Just like a big project you have to do for school or proposal for work, it will eventually end and life will grade you regardless if you want it to or not. One of the best parts is that, usually, the grading scale is curved and if you fucked up real bad and are about a D or dangerously close to an F, it can be bumped up to a C, B, and if your super optimistic, an A depending on your state of mind and psyche.

Remember that there are a lot of people in your shoes. You are not alone, ever, no matter how dark your present is. You future will be much brighter, even if the storm doesn’t feel like it’s going to end any time soon. As much as a good time will end, a bad time will end, too. Just have to take the waves as they come and ride it out.

You’ll get that feeling again, back when we all were kids.

Till next week, kids. The “Future”. For now, though, I’m going to finish my Riesling and search the web for a meme or two. Maybe I’ll take another walk or something. Who knows? Is the future I cannot see.

See what I did there?

Song: Kids, by OneRepublic.

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