27 is such a weird age. It’s like the last call for drinks.
The other day I tried to do something I used to do all the time in college and it totally didn’t work out. In college, if I was in good company, the drunker I got, the more fun I had. It was an input output mathematical equation that worked every time.
The other day I was at a birthday party and tried to use the same formula but I didn’t experience the expected increase in pleasure or fun. I just got more drunk, in the sick way. I still thought about the work that had to be done the next day and I simply couldn’t wipe away the residual effects of being boxed in an office all day, plus I got a banging headache and felt like throwing up. Yes, life had become this sobering for me.
Another weird thing happened towards the middle of the party, the part where everything was supposed to climax. I wanted to go home. My intentions at the beginning of the party were to take a couple of shots with the birthday girl, make sure that she knew she was loved, and mingle until I felt like going home. But then I wanted to get out of there way sooner than expected. I just couldn’t hang anymore. If this was college I would’ve been looking for my clothes that I had shed after having tried to make out with anything moving-of any race, of any gender, of any species. Instead I wanted to go home, and the sooner the better. Yes, things had simmered down quite a bit.
The actual age is flexible, but for me 27 is like the last call. I mean, you could drag it out for a while but you run the risk of being that guy or girl that never let go. There was a time for keg parties and unlimited sake bombs. There was a time for getting buck-wild freakin’ up on strangers and showing people how to Dougie. But at 27, I was just kinda tired.
All I wanted to do was go home and unbutton my pants and just lay there, storing up energy like a piece of motionless solar powered glass. When I got home and laid there with my pants unbuttoned, the future as I saw it was a checklist full of stuff to be done and I wanted to store energy for these responsibilities I didn’t want to meet yet. The past was full of faded pictures in an old shoebox that I had left in the garage of my mom’s house gathering dust.
Looking at these pictures in my mind made me both happy and sad. I had lived such a fortunate life, with many boxes of youth experiences already checked. I went to college, studied abroad twice, went to college basketball and football games, went to parties, attended packed lectures and discussed the effects of globalism in intimate discussion sections. That life was way over. I mentally put the pictures away and in came a slew of questions instead.
Did I make the right choices after college?
Was this the path I should’ve gone on?
Should I have accomplished more since college?
Do my parents wish that I had taken a different path?
Am I disappointed in myself?
Am I living the life that I want to live or is there more?
Did I do it right? Am I doing it right?
If I could go back, would I?
Am I ready to move forward?
Which way is forward?
I want to freeze time so that I have a chance to think, but I’m afraid that more questions would just come flooding in, obfuscating the clarity of this already complex labyrinth.
People say I think too much. I retort by saying that I don’t think too much because everybody thinks the same AMOUNT (unless you’re constantly meditating). It’s that I’m constantly preparing for a nuclear holocaust of a future that might blow up my life as I know it (and it might or might not come) while simultaneously staring at faded pictures dug up from a shoebox that’s stuck in my mind reminding me about how simple, carefree and fun the past was. The present moment is rarely where my mind resides. THAT’s the problem.
At 27, it’s almost time to decide, if you haven’t already decided. On a lot of things. It’s not so simple as which electives to take or which beer to drink. It’s time to put the shoebox away and prepare for the nuclear holocaust that may or may not come. Not all is lost though. But things have costs. And you gotta pay to play so say goodbye to simple days and make way for mornings where you really shouldn’t wake and bake. And for God’s sake, make up your own damn mind about where you want to be, what you want to do, who you want to do it with, and how you’re going to do it. There’s a whole wide world to be conquered and stuff to look forward to, so get on with it already.
Or you could just keep asking yourself: Why so serious?