I think I’m there. The point where the future is more frightening than exciting. The stage where I’m better off than I was, yet not nearly where I thought I would be. I’m closer to 40 than 30, but I still don’t feel like a grown-up. Except, when I go out to places where I used to hang out and I am now one of the oldest people in the room. Living in a college town does not help the situation, either.
Popular culture has become less and less relevant to my interests. I catch myself asking “what are kids thinking these days?” Songs on the radio all sound more alike than different. TV either insults my intelligence or tries too hard to appeal to my edgier sensibilities. Politicians make me want to rebel and celebrities make me roll my eyes. I watch the Discovery Channel to learn about things that really matter in the world and then spend hours on the internet so I don’t feel out of touch.
I am not naive to the workings of the world, but I am not nearly as cynical as the evening news would like me to be. While not completely terrified for the future of mankind, I’m also not nostalgic for the past. I don’t understand what everyone is so upset about because this has all happened before, hasn’t it? Yet, this is my generation and there has never been one like it since, right?
I can’t even buy clothes without succumbing to an existential dilemma. Some of the things in Hot Topic are actually rather cute, but even if any of it fit, I know it would look ridiculous on me. Most of the clothes in Kohl’s are age appropriate, but when did appropriate become wrist-slittingly boring? I don’t want to wear skull print hoodies, but I don’t want a freakin’ cowl neck sweater, either! And, do they even manufacture makeup without glitter in it anymore? Who’s car do I have to wash to get eyeshadow that isn’t iridescent?
I know that there are probably others that have experienced at least one of these same frustrations. However, I belong to a small sub-category even within my own demographic. At 35, I should have at least one child running around, occupying my time with issues more important than clothes or eyeshadow. While I respect my friends’ decisions to have children, I simply can’t relate. I’m bobbing through life untethered from the responsibility of motherhood, so most of the obstacles that I encounter in my life are relatively insignificant compared to those of my mommy friends. Be that as it may, it is MY life and it all seems pretty significant to me.
So, here I am. I’m not a mom, but I am married (for over 12 years now). I don’t have my finger on the pulse of pop culture, but I do actually really like Lady Gaga. I wear pearls and have tattoos, drive fast and need glasses to see road signs. I would not go back and be a teenager for anything, but I don’t like the thought of growing older, either. I’m straddling a line between who I was and who I am going to be. I guess as long as I’m moving forward, that’s all that matters.