1. You will turn 20 – You will live at home in the summer. You will go to college in the winter, fall and spring. You will be far enough from your parents they do not visit more than once a season. You will measure time in semesters and quarters. You will go to parties in basements. You will eat food from microwaves and boxes. You will fall in love.
2. You will turn 21 – You will go to clubs and dance. You will feel erections on your butt. You will rub erections on someone’s butt. You will near graduation. You will wonder how you are going to support yourself. You will feel overwhelmed, to point where you cannot breathe, by how much debt you have. You will want to die.
3. You will turn 22 – You will wonder why everyone is in a hurry to leave college. You will live at home. You will travel as much as you can. You will be depressed for reasons you cannot express other than you feel “alone” and “lost.” You will still want to die.
4. You will turn 23 – You will move to a new city. You will find yourself at your first adult job. You will meet someone nice. You will go to shows you wanted to go to when you didn’t have the money. You will wear clothes people in their thirties will complain about because they are too small for them to wear. You may not want to die all the time.
5. You will turn 24 – You will have your own place. You will live with someone. You will have a core group of friends. You will bond with them while sitting on a porch drinking wine and smoking cigarettes and talking about your life. You will hope yours is a great story.
6. You will turn 25 – You will experience a real heartbreak. You will join a gym. You will get in the best shape of your life. You will go out more than you ever did. You will write a novel or paint a painting or start a side business. You will become disillusioned with the idea of having a job. You will think of moving to a bigger city.
7. You will turn 26 – You will live in the biggest city you will ever live in. You will join a dating website. You will have more sex with more people than you ever have. You will think about what it would be like to move to the country and start a farm.
8. You will turn 27 – You will go to weddings of friends from your early twenties who you sat on the porch with and drank wine and smoked cigarettes. You will look at your novel or your painting or your small side business and wonder if it will ever be worth something. You will wake up one day realizing you are a speck floating within an infinite darkness beside a burning star.
9. You will turn 28 – You will try hard at your job. You will have run-ins with middle management and realize how sad their lives are and hope you are never them. You will look in the mirror and notice you are aging. You will buy products to keep your skin elastic. You will change your hairstyle to something shorter or shave it altogether. You will gain weight. You will have a drinking problem. You will try and get it together.
10. You will turn 29 – You will go to a party where people bring small children. You will wonder if you are better off than the people who are bringing small children to parties. You will quit your job and tell others you have to try and “do what you were meant to do.” You will want to die. More than that, you will want to live.