SOCIAL STUDIES Growing Up Is Hard To Do Lisa M. Gerry

One Sunday afternoon, as I scoured OnDemand for something to watch, I landed on old episodes of Laguna Beach, the drug of choice for 28-year-old nostalgics like myself. As I watched them get ready for prom and talk about boys—not husbands or babies, but boys—it hit me: I should do something crazy, like get my nose pierced!

I’ve had this idea before—usually after my dad asks about my 401(k), when a radio DJ calls the songs I listened to in high school “throwbacks”, or once after a particularly bad trip to the dermatologist where she declared the small red dots on my chest “age spots.”

But then I think about Harrison Ford’s earrings, Pamela Anderson’s high-cut bikini bottoms and the median age of Leonardo DiCaprio’s girlfriends and it’s decided—it’s too late for me. A stud in my nose would look pretty desperate.

Until recently, one of my best friends was living in a trailer on the bed of a truck. She wasn’t traveling anywhere, it just stayed parked in a lot in her Pleasantville-type town in Colorado. She had the money should she want a kitchen, or say, running water. But no, she chose to live out of a car, Jewel-style. It could be that she was rejecting society’s emphasis on achievement, or status—or bathing. But I see it differently. I think she was clinging to the seductive idea that we’re still young enough to be screwups.

It’s liberating to think that we’re still within the realm of youthful indiscretion. That we can get hammered during the week, show up to work hung over, and people will laugh, Oh, to be young again. But all of a sudden, the “adventures” we took in our early twenties are deemed reckless, irresponsible, even selfish. And stories of our one-night stands—which were once met with sly, envious smiles—now seem a little sad.

The stakes have gotten higher. What used to be a funny quirk—Oh Lisa, you always forget to pay your rent on time!—is now a legitimate deficiency that leads to a tragic night of shame-eating.

Granted, there are parts of getting older that feel very natural to me, like drinking alone, self-help books and the decadence of a good night’s sleep. But the part I don’t like, as I sit nose-to-nose with 29 and begin to feel forever’s hot breath on my neck, is the need to “buckle down” and “think about the future.”

Maybe I’ll start small. One of my money-minded friends has been begging me since college to create a budget and, perhaps, the time has come to dust off an old Excel spreadsheet.

But only if I can set aside some cash for piercings.

comments

Please help us maintain positive conversations by refraining from posting spam, advertisements, and links to other websites or blogs. we reserve the right to remove your comment if it does not adhere to these guidelines. thanks! post a comment.

  1. I’m very much in denial about being on the cusp of late twenties.

  2. I turned 24 in November. I’m a college grad living at home with no job. It’s depressing. I feel like a child when all I want is to be an adult. Step 1 was last month: removing nose and belly button piercings. It felt good! Still don’t have a job yet. I wish HelloGiggles had a “help your HG friends get jobs!” section.

    • You are not alone lady! I know that doesn’t fix things, but know it’s not just you. So many people your age are still searching for a job. Try to keep busy doing things you’re passionate about. And every day, try to do one fun thing that makes you happy–even if it’s just going for a walk or watching a rerun of your favorite show!

      Lisa M. Gerry | 4/12/2012 07:04 am
  3. I have been in the same boat. Faced with the realization that at 28 I still have no clue what I want to be when I grow up. Thinking I do and then having the stark realization that I was wrong thrown back in my face. Its so stressful.

  4. i just turned 25. “i just graduated from college… three years ago” is not an excuse for my inability to get a real job. thinking about the future stresses me out!

  5. OMG this has been on my mind very recently. Im 26 and decided to go to university for the first time because I was suddenly ready to make something of myself. Better late than never right? But what I did not expect was to come to the realisation that I am not at all in touch with whats cool anymore! I thought I was cool and had my finger on the pulse but now I am reminded everyday by the 18/19 year olds in my class that my time to be trendy has passed. I may be trendy to other people my age but to these guys Im practically middle aged! Some of them even find it hard to talk to me as I am a “grown up”. Its all very depressing when you realise that you are officially an adult…

    • Hey Amy, I just want to say I am proud of anyone who chooses to go through college no matter how old or young they are. Don’t worry, you’re no where near an old fogey yet! Enjoy school and best of luck.

  6. weird… I was just thinking about the same… and I am only 23…
    No matter what we do, we have to grow up at some point… glad I’m not the only one who feels that way (even if I seem to feel like that way too early >.<)

  7. Did you know that Charlize leaves hair and skin flakes at restaurants she visits?