I’m 32 years old. Yes. Thirty fucking two. I know I don’t look it and I’m thankful for that, or I know I will be when I’m pushing forty and I’m drunkenly trying to convince the bouncer at some horrible nightclub that “he should really card me.”
Looking young has mostly been kind of an annoyance in my life thus far. At 21, most bartenders would spend an extra 30 seconds checking my ID. Some even challenged the validity. At 17, most people thought I was in middle school. Though I suspect part of that was the fact that I didn’t get boobies until I was 18. Before that, I was an A cup, so not only did people think I was prepubescent, I also got mistaken for a boy with relative frequency.
That was awesome and I’m sure that it in no way has anything to do with the fact that I tend to overdo it in the lady sexuality department most of the time. </sarcasm>
I’m getting off track here. The thing is, because I look young, people tend to treat me like I’m younger than I really am. I look 23, so people talk to me like I’m 23-25; but really, I’ve got the mind and experience of a 32 year old. Actually, I’ll go ahead and say I’ve got a lot more experiences under my belt than many people my own age.
However, lately I’ve been feeling like I’m not much of an adult. I’m not sure what it is. Maybe it’s the fact that I feel pretty strongly that no adult should ever stop playing, and so I keep a pretty lighthearted outlook on life. It could be the fact that I haven’t “settled down” in my age (I actually tried that in my twenties when I was married. I might still be the marrying type, but I am definitely NOT the settling down type. I never will be). Perhaps it’s the fact that I don’t have a 401K or health insurance.
But the more I thought about it, the more I think it comes from the fact that I’m living my life the way I want to live it at such a young age. I mean, I get paid to write! I get paid to plan events and meet new people! I get PAID to do the things I truly love in life. What makes me feel like the kid at the grown-up table is that I’m happy doing what I’m doing. Do I want more clients? Fuck yeah! But do I want more responsibility? Do I want to manage people? Hells no.
Does it make me a freak of nature that, right here, right now, I’m happy being right where I am? I’m happy that I can take a nap in the middle of the day. I love the fact that, most days, I don’t shower until 3 pm. Sometimes I get the feeling it does. Sometimes I start feeling guilty for shirking my duty as an American to work 93 hours a week in a cubicle just so I can make enough money to buy a place that’s way too big for me and own a car I simply don’t need to drive.
I have to remind myself that just because I’m not VP of Marketing for a fortune 500 company by now does not mean that I’m not living a fulfilled life.
Here’s the thing: I’m a pretty smart cookie. A cookie that gets REALLY bored sitting in a cubical or office doing the same thing. I need to be faced with new challenges every day or my brain starts getting pissy. Freelance work gives me a new challenge every. Single. Day. And it’s fucking awesome. I’m not saying I’ll never work for “The Man” again, but it would take a pretty special company to get me to give up my no pants wearing, set my own hours, work with the people I want to work with lifestyle that I currently lead.
So, yeah, sometimes even I still feel like I’m 24 because for some unknown reason, I still have this picture in my head of what an “adult” does with their life and it sure as shit doesn’t involve watching Parks and Recreation at 11 am or writing copy at 11 pm.
But as long as I make enough to pay my rent, pay my bills, feed myself and my dog and have enough left over to spend copious amounts of time with friends and maybe, just maybe, do a little travelling too, then this is the lifestyle I’m going to continue to lead, whether people decide that it makes me an immature chick or they decide that that it makes me the smartest fucking woman on the planet.
But I’m hoping it’s the latter.