Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Almost Five Squared Blues

The Design School Homie and I met up tonight, partially because we both needed a night off from our normal pursuits, but mostly to go over my resume. Since she just interviewed approximately umpty-million people to fill a couple of positions at her design firm, she has a sharp eye for what employers don't want to see, and wanted to give me some cover letter advice. She, like everyone else, thinks it's time for the hold music phase of my life to end, because it is destroying my soul piece by piece, and making me even more bitter and cynical than I used to be. (How can I be a hippie when I hate almost all people?)

Predictably, because we're us, we spent more time eating chicken fingers at the Coop and laughing at the obnoxious guy outside Fido than we did actually working. We also "discussed" (read: were cattily bitchy about) pretty much everything and everyone in our lives, up to and including the guy with the bad ponytail and worse pocket-watch-themed shirt walking in front of the deck at the restaurant, and the fact that "Dead bears" have become so mainstream that you find them on official collegiate merchandise, and thus are no longer "counterculture" in any way, so will people please just get over them, and how while we like jam band music, a 45 minute rendition of Tube just goes a weeee bit over the top from "improvisational" into "please stop playing now".

The words of hers that stuck with me most, however, were part of the more serious conversations of the evening, and came in the context of a discussion about the fact that our ten-year highschool reunion is coming up (in three years, but we like to get the bitching started early):

"Trust me, dude. As soon as you turn 25, whether it's the day of or a week later, you are going to completely freak out."
"I already had that freakout. I started having it back in February or something."
"Well, you're going to have it again. Mark my words, dude."

And she is probably right. I haven't looked forward to turning 25, and have been trying to soften the eventual blow by starting to give that as my age since early spring. But it's not working, and I am totally freaking out.

It doesn't help that the ParceSis got married when she was 25 and just celebrated her 5-year wedding anniversary by leaving her two-year-old with the doting ParceRents and going on a cruise with my brother-in-law. Admittedly, said brother-in-law and my sister had dated since her senior year of high school and it was only a matter of time, but it honestly doesn't seem like five years since I came back to Nashville. More specifically, it doesn't seem like I have five years worth of "stuff" to show for it.

Most of my friends have spouses, houses, or both. Neither are on the horizon for me. Some of my friends have careers instead of jobs, and I suppose I'm working on that. But it's been four years since I published a poem, three years since I got my first degree, two years that I've been in this crappy-ass job, and a year and a bit since I last had a relationship, or even relations with anyone but my friends, Right and Left Hand. Like a geometrical progression of failure. Or at least it feels that way.

I don't see how I could freak out any more than I already have done/am doing, but we'll see.

That's why I was so happy to find (Re)Generation on the shelves at Cafe O2, a collection of art by twentysomethings, mostly prose and poetry but with some good photos, thematically about our "generation" (including our habit of feeling the need to put everything in quotation marks). Apparently, people with their shit slightly more together also have the same sense of aimlessness, of relativity, of a surfeit of options that send us into choice paralysis because if we can be anything, like they told us since elementary school, why aren't we exactly what we want to be?

I don't know, and I'd probably settle for a good night's sleep if the choice was between that or an answer. But "well-rested" doessn't really qualify as a life goal, unless you follow Lazarus Long's example of the man who was too lazy to fail, and I'm not that organized. For that matter, "getting the cat to stop sitting in front of the monitor" and "go back to college, probably" aren't lofty aims either. But the book comforted me; apparently, a lot of us are stuck in jobs we hate, a lot of us still don't know who we want to be when we grow up despite the evidence that we already have, a lot of us have made families out of our friends instead of getting married and having children. There's time enough for us to get what our kindergarten teachers promised.

We hope.

What I read heartened me a little, right when I needed it, and once I've given it another, more focused read-through, I'll review it. For now, though, I have to go to bed. Not to sleep, necessarily, but with the hope that one will follow the other.

8 Comments:

At 9:44 PM, Blogger Leila M. said...

Thanks for the nice comment on my blog, P. Thank you, really. On a side note, I lived in the Nashville area for roughly six years, leaving it about 3 years ago...

 
At 1:18 AM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

Really? That's awesome! (Maybe you can help me find someone in the Muslim community here who's into interfaith outreach, as my study group would really, really love to have a Muslim speaker but thus far hasn't found anyone who considers themselves educated enough to tackle the problem of people whose preknowledge is minimal.)

I did enjoy your blog (liked the poem about hands) and hope you will come back to visit. Welcome!

 
At 10:05 AM, Blogger GoddessAradia said...

Hi Parce. Wake ur butt up and all that jazz;oP

 
At 12:50 PM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

You're so frigging eloquent Sarah, that's why I love you.

 
At 1:42 PM, Blogger thecoolestblog said...

Cool blog and cool message

 
At 7:31 PM, Blogger Special Sauce said...

ET- Trust me, you do get the 25 year old freakout, but it does pass. Honest.

Then you do it again at 26, 27, and I'm willing to bet 28 too, but I'll keep you posted on that one.

(And trust me, 3/4 of the fun about the 10 year reunion is the cattin'.)

 
At 8:45 AM, Blogger GoddessAradia said...

Remember: 33 Birthday, were doing it!

Umm. Not "Doing It" but...oh, shit. I'm digging myself in a hole here. Nevermind.

 
At 12:38 AM, Blogger parcequilfaut said...

Sarah! I'm flattered. (grin). But I know whereof you speak...and the best part is that I win either way.

Thanks, ET. I know, intellectually, that I'll get through this. But I just want to sit around and whine a bit. Keep me posted as to whether the freakout increases or decreases.

TheCoolestBlog, welcome! Come and stay.

 

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