The 20’s were an odd bird. Some of the best times in my life. Some of the worst. There was no in between. Peaks and valleys. I was still in college when this whole thing started. I don’t remember much before my 21st birthday. That night I was playing guitar in a band for Bob Weir and the rest of LA.
A year before that I had found my voice. An English professor at the University of Hartford encouraged me to stop over-thinking and just write. Forget about rules. Just write what came to me. I thought the world of this woman. After that, writing became easy and I even looked forward to it. I’ve taken that philosophy to real life with varying degrees of success. Sometimes people don’t want to hear what’s on your mind. I am an asshole and love it.
Phish – Harry Hood
I took my first cross-country trip in the summer of 2000. The first of three. Seeing the great void was eye-popping. Landing in Colorado felt like the right thing to do to adequately withdraw from the world after school. Buck responsibility. Those were the early years. Not a care. And it started out so well.
Death Cab For Cutie – I Was a Kaleidoscope
The middle years are a gaussian blur of week-long benders, casual sex, and the food service industry. Coming back East didn’t exactly turn out how I envisioned it and I waded. I panicked. And the gut grew steadily.
Lessons were learned though. It was ok to not be the most popular guy around. Even though I secretly wanted that to be true. It’s ok to not be good at poker. And It’s ok to go to the movies alone. I explored the suburbs as a twenty-something in need of a goal. A walking St. Elmo’s Fire.
Rainer Maria – Ears Ring
I got my first real job in the later years. A job that I often ridiculed in public, but ultimately felt good at. I wasn’t trying to get out as soon as I got in. It was time to get serious. I write now… for other people.
During this time I grew in ways as well. I became more socially conscious. Embraced the concept of positivity. Actually acted patriotically, by attending the inauguration of a president. Gave up the freedom of the road for a subway map. Signed a three-year contract with my cable company! Started giving myself the benefit of the doubt. Aggressively learned humility. Still never learned to bite my tongue though. Still gets me into trouble. And the gut grew steadily.
Voxtrot – The Start of Something
I met two very special women in my 20’s. One in the early years and one in the later years. The former is my best friend and confidant. The other doesn’t want anything to do with me. But at the height of their power, both had the ability to make me feel like I could do anything.
I found out who my friends were too. Some people you could talk to. Some you can’t. Some drive you crazy but with your best interests in mind. Some who are just looking out for themselves. I don’t need scores anymore and haven’t made many new ones in the past 10 years. But I dig the ones I got.
It’s all over now, as the 20’s are no more. I’m just a man in my 30’s with things to prove and a gut to defeat.