Saturday, January 26, 2008

staring 26 in the face.

i'm going to be 26 in approximately...15 days. and as much as i hate to admit it, i'm having a really, really hard time. now before any of you late(r) 20-somethings and 30-somethings (and above, i don't want to discriminate against anyone who may or may not be reading this...if anybody actually is reading this) start rolling your eyes and making sarcastic "oh yeah...26 is soooo old" comments, hear me out. i can honestly tell you getting another year older does not bother me. look at the title of my blog. i really do just want to fast forward to 30.
this whole 26th birthday has caused me to do a bit of hibernation (the butt-ass cold weather helped as well) and a bit of self-reflection, and i've discovered that while i'm not scared of getting older, i'm scared of remaining stagnant. some hit workout plateaus, weight-loss plateaus...i'm afraid i've hit a social plateau.
i had the same issues with celebrating the new year. this is going to come off as far more depressing than i really intend but...is it really worth celebrating another year past when nothing worth celebrating has really gone by?

let me digress briefly with a bit of history about myself. i live in a city i affectionately refer to as "the draining pool of the midwest". i moved here almost 2 years ago to accept a design position working for one of the largest clothing retailers in the US...give it 5 years and global domination is inevitable. i can finally say i like my job. it's a bit like an abusive marriage. i love it until it smacks me in the face and knocks me down. then i hate it, vow to leave it...find a new job that will love me as much as i love it. then it lightens up, treats me a bit better, and waves a new promotion and a bonus in my face. oh how money makes the wounds heal faster.

let's just safely establish that career-wise...i'm doing pretty well. socially speaking, i've hit my plateau.

aside from a pretty sweet promotion, nothing significant has really happened to me during year number 25. i feel like i should be able to hang on to year 25 until something significant does happen. at least just one more year....i doubt i'll meet the man of my dreams in between now and then, but a date would at least be nice. (and by "date" i mean an honest-to-goodness "i met him in line at the check out" date...none of this match.com mumbo-jumbo).

i've kept the birthday under pretty tight reign so far. i've only mentioned it's coming up as to divert any and all attention away from it. so far it's gone a bit like "my birthday's coming up next month. please don't do the corny work breakfast. and no. i do not want to go to the bar and drink myself into an oblivion." and when given third-degree as to what i really want to do i've merely replied "brunch." only after i was told "sitting on the couch under five blankets cuddling a bottle of organic wine" wasn't acceptable.

i was watching "sex and the city" last night (i'm really not exagerating about the social plateau) and it was the episode where charlotte turns 36. carrie was asking her at the coffee shop if she'd decided what she wanted to do for her birthday and she replied "i've thought about it, and i've decided i'm just going to stay 35. yup. that's what i'm going to do."

now i know i'm not turning 36 and i'm staring 40 in the face, but i feel exactly the same way. i'm not where i thought i'd be at 26. granted i don't really know where i thought that would be, but it's not here. stagnant. single. living in the draining pool of the midwest with my cat.

and what really urks me about this birthday is that i'm even having a hard time with the word "single". a title that has been attached to my name for the past three years of my life. three years. and what really frustrates me, is that i find myself becoming further removed from the rest of my friends that aren't single, or do in fact date (although it's cheating the system because they match.com date). nothing is better than the awkward pause after somebody asks "so what's new with you?" and i get to answer, yet again "oh nothing much. just work." and let me tell you just how much i love it when said body takes it one step further and inquires (tentatively)..."dating anybody?" and i get to answer, yet again..."no." or joke "ha, yeah right....unless i want to date a grad student or a really hot gay guy, i think i'm going to be single for a while". and then, in an attempt to save some remaining shred of dignitity (no matter how small and microscopic it may be) i awkwardly offer up "well...i did get promoted again...and i got to go to (new york/LA/london) on a shopping trip for work."

the olderand more wrapped up with work i get, the more i've come to realize that being successful at work is pretty empty when it's the only thing you've managed to be successful at.

and this is why i either want sto tay 25 until something significant and worthy of a champagne-toast occurs..or i want to fast forward to 30. because hopefully when i'm 30 i'll be in a place a bit more stable...key word being "hopefully".

and this is also why i've decided to start blogging. to vent about the nuances of being a single, successful 20-something. and the annoyances of being a single, successful 20-something that i sure as hell wish somebody would've warned me about.

everybody says being a teenager is just soooo hard. you go through the growing pains and awkward phases...braces, angst, depression, body image issues. gee. minus the braces (although a 27-year old co-worker did get her's off a couple months ago) sounds a lot like my life right now.

so god help me i'm going to start chronicalling it all. bad dates (until they start happening again, i'll just fill in with some past doozies i've encountered instead), body issues, angst, work....you name it. even the dreaded 26th birthday. because as much as i kick and i scream...i know it's still coming.

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Hey! I don't match.com date! And if you need me to help you chronicle bad dates until you have more of your own you know I have a neverending supply. Actually, they're not even so bad as more anecdotal of certain actions/comments that men should know better than to engage in on a first, second, third date. Should we start a TLC show called "What not to do on a Date"?