This summer, I tweeted:
My best friend just got engaged and into law school, and I got rip-roaring drunk from Friday to Sunday. To each his own, I guess.— Sunday Scaries (@ScaryScaries) August 3, 2014
After revisiting this tweet, I decided to review American Express charges between Friday, August 1st and Sunday, August 3rd to ensure that this was tweeted in seriousness and not in jest. What I found was a series of charges across 9 different restaurants and 2 golf courses. I think it's safe to deduce that I did indeed proooobably get rip-roaring drunk that weekend while my best friend was busy getting engaged the day after he got into one of the nation's top law schools.
Meanwhile, me? I was busy text-flirting with the 21 year-old biscuit in the pro shop in between making bogey saves at a golf course that I could barely afford. I was more concerned about the golf pro's opinion of my powder blue sweater vest than I was with the current state of my savings account (he LOVED the sweater vest, by the way).
When I take a step back and look at myself, it looks the best thing I have going for me right now is that black people think I look like Jason Sudeikis, and Jason Sudeikis is dating Olivia Wilde, which means I have an outside shot at dating Olivia Wilde. But, that seems overly optimistic and I'm still ridin' solo. Luckily for me, my mental state has me riding solo in more of a Jason Derulo-sense as opposed to a Don-Draper-drunk-leisure-driving-to-avoid-my-wife-sense.
But at this age, a lot of us face this overlying pressure. This urgency. This ambiguous feeling of what we're "supposed" to be doing and where we're "supposed" to be in life.
In Man Repeller's recent Is 21 The New 25? , my internet girlfriend observed, "At 25 you can say you’re in your early 20s, you can still fuck up. You’re young. 26 is this very scary year where you’re technically in your late 20s. You don’t get the same sympathy. If you mess up at 26 it’s like, 'Well that was a bad decision.'" She later went on to say what I had been thinking the entire time I read the piece — "I guess I just hope 25 is the new 21 because if so, then I am not a fuck up."
I, like a lot of you, am at that fragile not-mid-20s-but-not-late-20s age where I make enough money to live a bougie lifestyle but not enough to throw a shotgun wedding should a 2 am mistake turn into a newborn. I'm getting justifiably bitched at by my buddy to get myself measured for a groomsmen suit, but I keep forgetting between my tee times and Lions games and happy hours. I'm an innocent manchild stuck in the limbo where half of my friends are Snapchatting me mid-poop selfies while the other half are planning their weddings. And frankly? It's kind of awesome.
The beauty of finding yourself in this grey area is that you get to enjoy it all. You get to be happy as hell for your engaged friends while not having the stress of planning a wedding. Your friend's kids can think of you as the "cool" uncle before you head to the bar. You get to go to your buddy's bachelor party and not have to answer to anyone when you come back smelling like cigars and strippers. You can buy yourself a new driver because a down payment on a home isn't in the realm of possibility yet. You're just figuring your shit out on a less life-defining scale.
The problem is that from when you hit high school to when you get married, people insist on telling you what path you're supposed to take and where you're supposed to be. It drives me insane to the point where I'm about to change my Instagram bio to "LiFe iS aBoUt ThE JouRneY, nOt ThE DeStInAtIoN!" to put out a YOLO vibe so people get off my back because they think I'm a lost cause. The fact of the matter is, there's nowhere that you're "supposed" to be and there's nothing you're "supposed" to be doing.
I have friend's whose moms had them at 22 while my mom had me at 36. And hey, guess what — all of our moms are fuckin' awesome and all of my friends turned out to be baller as hell. My parents met at 28 and, from the stories I've heard, they had a SHITLOAD of fun before my sister came along 6 years later.
At the end of the day, all you need to do is make sure your life trajectory emulates McConaughey in Failure to Launch rather than Carell in 40 Year Old Virgin. Fuck, if we all had this shit figured out already, what would be left to have Scaries over? Just have to keep crushing it and see where the chips fall.