What It Feels Like To Be 29

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

A friend told me today that she predicts I will meet a nice (super sweet, actually) man by the end of the year.

“Man,” she repeats, “Did you get that? Not boy.”

“That’s nice” I joke, “Because I’m at the peak of my sexiness and I should really be doing something with it. I will continue to get sexy in unreality, but right now, I am optimally sexy,” like the number 29 in fact. I am an adult number, yet with curves and muscle that still tell of youth without talking, and a clever grace that defines survival of all that has come before. But, I’m not forever 21. I am a temporary number—one to remember and forget.
 
This is the age of the great divide. Being 29 is wavering at the peaks of sex and sensibility — most of us have climbed one and not the other, while a fortunate few claim both as victories. Some have marriage, babies, steady income, and good credit, or at least a spot near the front of a line. Others spent the last nine years following quotable advice—surfing waves and couches, spending cash on street smarts, discovering new colors in new countries and what they taste like. Have you tried a custard apple? This is when old friends on either side of the divide start to relate less to each other and more to strangers. This is when you ask if it was worth it. 
 
This is the age of jealousy. The grass is greener because we can see it from our house. In the massive wake of selfies, self-doubt, and infinite scrolling, we want it all— security and freedom, success and integrity, someone to take care of and someone to take care of us. It’s a sort of desperation experienced generally by writers and libras, but then suddenly, by everyone. No one wants to start their thirties without everything, because in your thirties, society does not give full allowance to explore, dream, discover, and fulfill the words of all Mark Twainesque commencement speeches defiantly spoken years earlier. In suspending moments, we consider turning the page on imagination, forgetting that it’s an endless story—an ever-giving, ever-living inner source of inspiration.
 
This is the age of unnecessary regret, where all steps previously taken want to haunt our forever future. There’s a spineless voice arguing that if we haven’t already done enough, that unfortunately, only partially apologetically, that maybe we never will. Never with a capital N—a self-imposed capital punishment. Life seems to give a little bit more and what I mean by that, is that it seems to sag a little bit more. We have to decide if we’re ready for that space, that extra skin, that extra responsibility. And why shouldn’t we be ready? It’s not only the end of a decade, but the beginning of another. And in a beginning, you can begin—a most exciting verb—while in an ending, of course, it’s necessary to conclude. 
 
This is the age of epic nostalgia and impending doom, or epic evolution and impending glory. “Fuck you” would be wise to re enter one’s vernacular if exploding onto the other side, with a propelling force of life, capable of replacing monochrome boundaries with the bright light of gold—of #winning—sounds better than minding the gap, of simply surviving it. This is the age when you can defy time, or let it define you—a decision surely for every year, sincerely for every future moment, but especially for the sexy and sensible number 29. TC mark

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