Friday, January 11, 2013

Act Your Age.

All my life, I've heard the same advice over and over like a broken record. Act your age, act your age, act your age. I'll be 31 on Monday, and I'm still trying to figure out what that means.

How is a 31-year-old supposed to act? Drifting through my day-to-day, I am simultaneously the oldest soul, and the youngest soul at the same time. I know more about early 80's funk and disco than the late, great Larry Levan, and yet I still get excited when I find a sticker on the ground. I idolize Dolly Parton and Kreyshawn equally. I twist my hair up into perfect grandma pin curls, and rock in my chair while I cut my shortest shorts even shorter.

When I was 18, my psychiatrist at the time told me that the cure to all of my current problems was to "stop acting 12 years old". I walked home after the appointment, smoking menthols the entire way. I didn't smoke at the time, but it felt like the grown-up thing to do. I went out to a filthy hole-in-the-wall and got trashed that night, just to prove to myself that I was an adult, dammit... Never mind my round, chubby baby face.

The baaaaaby face. The cause of, and solution to, all of my problems. Two cherry cheeks and a tiny nose, combined with a petite stature, has ensured me a lifetime of getting mistaken for a grade-schooler. You try to nail a job interview, or buy pot, while someone speaks to you like your mom still packs your lunch (which, for the record, she does not,

Really, though. Fuck. Why does it matter anyway? I ask myself this alllll the time. Every birthday, I get myself into this dysthymic state where I start to question a lot of things in a very deep and somber way. Each year, I question where my life is at, and how I'm going to make it through the next year. If it sounds sad, it's because it totally is. Birthdays and I do not agree.

What does 31 mean, anyway? Does it mean that you have to have a mortgage, be unusually dedicated to your career, and have a strong sense of conviction in all you do? Check. Already on it. Does it mean that you are no longer allowed to swear like a sailor, and get stupid tattoos, and get WBW* on the d-floor** at 12AM***? I've done all of these things in the past few months. Is it time to stop now? Probably not.

As R Kelly and Aaliyah once so eloquently said, "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number".
What is 31? Guess what? I decide.

I suppose the older I get, the more I should be concerned with acting my age, but I have nothing at all left to prove. Age means less to me now than it ever, ever did.

~sarah p.

*White Boy Wasted
**dance floor

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