Monday, May 29, 2006

Spring Fever

Every year, right around mid-April, I develop this feeling of excited anticipation. I wake up in the morning and the air smells like possibility, the sun on my face feels like a message that my life is about to change. As I wait for the change to manifest, I always find myself dreaming of what it might be: a new job, falling wildly in love, winning a million dollars. Invariably the change is more like realizing that it's time to do the laundry and suddenly hitting the jackpot with clothes I'd forgotten about completely. Regardless, that feeling always surprises me, and I treasure it each year. It is like a reminder that I am not yet jaded by life, that I still believe in impossible things. I cling to this part of myself like a child who knows the Tooth Fairy isn't real, and yet refuses to admit it. Perhaps this is my version of refusing to achieve maturity. But hey, if that feeling of pure joy and eagerness disappears, all that's left of springtime is the air getting warmer. And how boring is that?

Friday, May 12, 2006

Back to the Future

In two days I am completing my final school requirement. It's hard to comprehend being truly finished with school. I've been in school since I hit the age of four, and I'm currently half-past 25. I went straight through, doing my Bachelors, Masters, and post-graduate degrees, all in a field in which a degree is essentially worthless. As I am in the performing arts, the notion that a degree opens up the world of career options is basically void. As I stare into encroaching freedom, the F-word lingers in the corners of my conscience: FUTURE.

We've all hit this point, I'm sure. Part of being of our generation is accepting that we are not our parents. I'm sure all generations face this crisis at some point, but I think our parents were really forced to become adults around the age of 21 or 22. My parents married at 22, had me at 25, and moved into their forever home at 29 or 30. I am 25, and I don't have a clue what I want to do. I have no certain future in the career in which I've invested an incredible amount of time and money. I thought I'd met the person I wanted to spend my life with, but that proved to be some of my poorest judgement in history. The only thing I can commit to is my two cats, and that still freaks me out occasionally. I don't even know for sure if I'll still be living in San Francisco in a few months.

The good news about all this "freedom" (or, as I think of it, freefalling through time, space, and all of human existence) is that it forces one to be inordinately creative. I have discovered that going to four grocery "stands" instead of one supermarket saves me approximately $40 a week, even if it takes my entire Saturday. I've also learned that working seven days a week is not impossible. And I've had the epitome that designer jeans become strangely affordable when one has a new credit card. I know that this suspension of reality will not last all that long. I know that in a few weeks, months, or years I will wake up, shocked with my lack of "real" assets. I will be irritated by my debt, my status as a rentor, and my series of inconsequential jobs and relationships as I pursue my dreams. I can only hope that one day, after the initial shock has faded, I can look back on who I am now with a sense of humor and appreciate this adventure that we citizens of this generation call our mid-twenties.