Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Student Becomes the Student-Teacher

Tomorrow morning I leave for my real vacation in Las Vegas, where I’ll celebrate the end of my 20s with 8 girlfriends. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for so long (over 6 months, to be exact) that I actually forgot about my actually 30th birthday, which is in early September. Thirty. The big three-zero. Half of my lifetime ago I was 15, I worked at a summer camp, and I was a completely different person. Back then I thought I was fat, but I wasn’t. Today I’m the same height and 20 pounds heavier. I’m choosing to think that the “smarts” I’ve accumulated in the subsequent 15 years have deposited themselves on my thighs and buttocks. All this learnin’s got to go somewhere, right?

This past weekend we hosted some houseguests from Boston, J’s friend Carlos and Carlos’ friend Steve. Carlos is a bit older than us, maybe in his 40s, but he’s a rad guy. His friend Steve is 21. It’s been a while since I’ve hung around a 21-year-old boy. Everyone has known someone like Steve. He’s the last of three boys. He likes to do risky things, like ride his motorcycle 120 MPH in Boston at night after a few beers (and by a few, I mean a few 6 packs). He has burnt down wooded areas unconsciously while naked and tripping on acid in the middle of the night, throwing rocks at cars to get someone to help him, because even he realized he was way too high. “Cops like me,” he said. I don’t think he’s ever been arrested, but he’s probably come damn near killing himself several times, because he’s done stupid shit out of sheer boredom.

He kept up the bad ass exterior around the guys. In fact, he’s actually kind of quiet, but his second night with us we chatted a bit about his motivations behind doing things. He came out and said to me, “I don’t understand why I do stupid shit.” I instantly thought, “I know where you are.” I’ve seen friends in his position and even been in his position a few times. I asked him questions that were meant to get him to arrive at some sort of conclusion about why he acts the way he does. He’s a very smart kid, but he’s bored. Heck, he’s dropping out of college to join the Army. He answered my questions and asked me what life was like for me at that age. And as much as I ramble, he actually listened to me talk. It was then that I felt more like a mom giving advice to one of my kid’s friends than a peer.

Maybe it’s all in my head. I don’t think I’m worried about turning 30, but maybe I am. Perhaps “worried” is the wrong word. I’m not quite sure how I feel about all of this.

After the way I handled the job offer business, I can tell I’ve matured – even in the last 5 years. Would I trade that to be 25 again? Nope. Even if I am facing an age with a zero attached to it, I’m happy to know that the world does get clearer as you get older – as you mature. I’m glad I no longer do stupid shit, but I don’t regret it. Just last week I had a flashback while working in Excel at work – talk about an awkward 5-minute trip. I digress.

Approaching 30, I realize I’m still very far away from coming close to knowing it all. I can only hope that my next ten years will teach me as much as my last ten did. Maybe then I won’t be freaking out about the next zero-ending number – 40. Ha! Who am I kidding? I will be freaking out. But, look at the bright side. If I start saving now I can probably afford a tit lift* and some Botox by then. Crap. If I do that, well, then I won’t have learnt anything!

(*please don’t mark my words, because I really do want a tit lift and will likely get one if I can ever afford it! Ha!)


Tami said...

I would love to lift my puppies! Now that I am 40 something they really do need to be lifted something that I did not notice when I was 30. I was a mess when I turned 30,so depressed. I remember looking down at this gift someone got me. It was a mug that said " oh no 3-0!" There it was in black & white my age pasted to a freaking novelty glass that I am supposed to enjoy coffee out of every morning. Yep I finally hit an age that they make gag gifts for. Anyway, it does get better, I had no problem turning 40. My 30's were awesome. I had lost 100 lbs., I met the love of my life and married him. I had a whole new outlook on everything. You will mature and sometimes that is not a bad thing.

Tara Armov said...

Hitting 30 wasn't a big deal for me.

Hitting 31 freaked me out.

However, my 30's was when I got a lot of shit together, including discovering roller derby. I became both an athlete and more girly because of it, and the confidence in that has helped in dealing with day job stuff.

Now I'm gonna hit 40 in a few months. I don't have boobs to lift, but a visit to the dermatologist for botox or something is definitely weighing on my mind!

Have fun in Vegas!

Tara Armov
LA Derby Dolls

Midlife Crashes said...

I kinda got lost in my 30s, to my addictions and others'. But derby came into my life at age 39 1/2 and honestly, everything came together for me. It wasn't just derby, but what derby did for me--gave me a support network, allowed me to feel good about myself, gave me a healthy outlet for my anger & frustration. A long time ago a flight attendant told me, "My 20s were good, 30s better, 40s are the best." At age 41 I'm gonna agree--I've never felt better, physical, emotionally, spiritually. Congrats on your milestone, have a FANTASTIC decade!