I’m currently taking a new stack of vitamins and supplements. Aside from the stream of neon yellow piss I fill the toilet bowl with, I have absolutely no idea what they’re actually doing for me. I pop multivitamins every morning, even though I’ve read numerous studies saying there’s little to no benefit of doing so. Maca root powder is bought in bulk to improve energy, mood, and memory, all of which still remains varying levels of shit. Milk thistle pills that are supposed to help regenerate the liver cells I fucked up during early to mid 20s benders. I drink an apple cider vinegar and lemon water concoction in the morning for weight control. An article tells me I need to keep this going to see results. Another one tells me it’s bad for me and will cause gastrointestinal issues. Activated charcoal tablets and bentonite clay to help detox my body of toxins or something. Cycles of different strains of probiotics for something else.
I continue to subscribe to these placebos because I’m older and I’m supposed to be doing things like drinking eight glasses of water, eating an apple every day, and taking care of my health in general. I’m taking all of these in the hopes that it’ll make me feel better in life. About life. Every couple of months, I’ll come across some glowing article, secretly-sponsored YouTube testimonial or paid review about this product that could cure my maladies or change my life and I’ll just shrug and have my organic fat burner Amazon Prime’d to my house in two days without even having to burn any calories leaving my desk chair.
It all sneaks up on you. Maybe you’ve coasted through your 20s on a high metabolism, but now that time has come to cultivate discipline regarding dieting and exercise, you can’t stand up to the task. You download a running app, buy some new Nikes, and toss out the remainder of Sunday’s binge meal, but motivation can only pull your early morning jogs throughout a week-long streak.
You check your mailbox and see what you can pay on time and what you have to incur late fees on. When you do get a little disposable income, you might go to the store for one thing, but begin walking down the aisles a little slower than usual, saying to yourself, “Maybe I do need this bamboo salt storage box and organic cilantro grow kit and enameled lemon squeezer.” You begin collecting for life.
Most of us are either on a mad dash to get to where we thought we should be or despondent because we know it’ll never pan out the way we envisioned. All of your friends are a little sad about the way thing turned out. They complain about owing taxes and student loans and how they’ll be paying Uncle Sam and Aunt Sallie for the rest of their lives. They’re dismayed at their lack of savings, knowing that one major financial setback or serious hospital visit can ruin your entire life. You’re too old to excuse your lack of preparation on the fact that you could be killed in a car crash tomorrow, but still young enough to know you have a little wiggle room to make some mistakes you won’t have to pay for in your elder years.
Life becomes one distraction after another. You stumble upon the Wikipedia page of some of the new players in Hollywood and realize they were born in years you were already masturbating in. Regrets become commonplace. Ideations about suddenly waking up in your childhood home, senior year of high school, without the knowledge you have now about owning real estate in your reveries. You look back at all the hours wasted in your twenties and wished you spent 10,000 of them differently.
Drinking this hurt away becomes a lot more corrosive than it did in your younger years. Hangovers begin demonstrating flu-like symptoms and last for days. The headaches associated with them can overpower prescription level ibuprofen. Every muscle in your body sighs at the idea dexterity.
Growing up is about having the knowledge but still being naive. You occasionally catch yourself whispering your aspirations whenever you stumble upon the clock positioned at 11:11. Fortune cookies get cracked open and the little white slip inside is annoyedly assessed. Back-of-the-magazine astrology is analyzed as you ponder how much you, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé actually do have in common. And now, the Powerball numbers are up, so it’s back to dreaming again. You buy a few quick picks and a couple of two dollar scratch offs as cherries on top, because you’re due for a financial blessing any day now.
I’ll be turning thirty in September, and I’m not sure how I feel about it. On one hand, it’s a benchmark on a drug and depression saddled twenties that I wasn’t even sure I would make it out of. On another, it’s a milestone of a reminder that I underachieved my way towards my third decade on this planet. An embarrassment that the condition of my life doesn’t reflect my intelligence level. So now, I replace the stack of shoeboxes that used to reside in the corner of my room with potted plants and wait. Wait for my luck to chance. Wait for a windfall. Wait for andropause. I struggle down a teaspoon of black seed oil, and I wait.