Monday, November 3, 2014


When I was about eight years-old, I remember sitting in our kitchen with a bowl of Cheerios. Noticing the constant, yet somehow imperceptible rhythm of the clock ticking away on the wall. It's a sound that's always there, but only important/obnoxious once you become aware of it. Once you hear the ticking, you can't unhear it. And then if feels louder than it was before.

Time: ten-something in the morning. The jagged tick-tock pattern of the second-hand and the impossibly slow journey of the hour-hand. I remember crawling up on one of the kitchen bar stools to get a closer look at that minute hand. Peering only inches away, clock face to little-girl face and seeing--for the first time---that: That things moving! Always. All the time. Whoa. 

It's slow and hardly noticeable from far away, but when you get real close, you realize that those seconds flow into a slow pattern of minutes. And those minutes obviously make hours. And those hours make days. And days turn into weeks. And weeks turn into years. And almost twenty-years later, the same obvious truth still surprises me:

Time is always passing.
We can't stop it or delay it.

And yet we try. Hard.

We lie about our age.
Some people never turn thirty.
There's this apologetic tone in our voices when we tell people our age.
We mourn the loss of time.
We wish for the "good 'ol days."
Every movie seems to feature some young, sexy thing in his/her twenties.
We try to appear "youthful".
We use anti-aging creams.
We get cosmetic procedures to make it appear as though those years never happened.
There's something so "pathetic" about growing older.
About aging. About losing hair. And physical ability.

Time is something most of us think about, but, really don't want to talk about. We have such a strained relationship with time. Like it's your slightly-racist uncle. As if time is the problem we all have to live with but try to ignore as much as possible

And I get it, because I've felt it.
But I also hate it, because I think we can do better.

And this all might sound especially naive coming from a twenty-something whose skin is mostly in the same place where it started, but as I grow older, I don't want to resent each passing year. I don't want to dread the future. To feel only hatred for the coming of age. Because, in my mind, dreading another birthday is the same as dreading the continuation of life.

If you don't want another birthday, doesn't it mean you don't want another year of life? Which means you are done with this one. Enough is enough. It means that the idea of continuing to exist is just too embarrassing. Too hard. Too much.

I think we have to make some peace with the truth that is happening to all of us.
Every day.
Every where.

We are all growing up.
All the time.

And I think half of our battle with "the aging process" is less about the physical ramifications and more about what we think that means. Because--believe it or not--there's really not much difference between being 24 and being 54:
You can still party.
You can still have meaningful relationships.
You can still run marathons.
You can still not give a damn what people think.
You can still get speeding tickets.
You can still have great sex.
You can still travel the world.
You can still be attractive.
You can still be free.

Age only means what you think it means.

And today, I'm turning twenty-seven years-old. So I've decided that, for me, being twenty-seven means:
-Living in Korea with my husband.
-Sleeping in on the weekends.
-Snuggling on the coach to watch Scandal.
-Dancing in the kitchen.
-Playing Ultimate Frisbee on the weekends.
-Playing more guitar.
-Devouring books like chocolate.
-Devouring chocolate like books.
-Doing this NaNoWriMo thing during the month of November. I'm writing a novel, people!
-Lacking a solid career, but looking for one. Eventually.
-Feeling downright beautiful in my own body.
-Feeling optimistic about this ever unpredictable future.

Twenty-seven will come and go.
As will thirty-three.
And forty-one.
And fifty-six.
And sixty-two.

And being another year older, being alive, being here, means whatever you want it to.

To many more years of being here,