I had a weird day yesterday. I woke up feeling displaced and nebulous. Instead of working from home or the office, I drove up to Starbucks and worked for a little while. Once I realized I hadn’t eaten yet, it was already lunch time. I left Starbucks, with no direction, and then I got a text message. “I don’t know where to go. I’m sitting in your driveway.”
My closest friend in Jacksonville sold her house yesterday because she is moving away. She will be temporarily living in her family’s home about an hour away until she has a home in her new state. Yesterday, her child with his grandparents, her husband at work, she just drove. No kids. No responsibilities. Not even a home.
I pulled in to the driveway where she sat in her car and I invited her out with a wave. We reclined and stared at each other on the front porch until she said, “I hope this doesn’t all blow up in my face.”
“I know,” I said, completely unreassuringly. “Aren’t the 30s weird? Like we’ve done all the things we’re supposed to do, gone to school and gotten jobs and started families, and at any moment it could all explode. We could all go back to square one. And it wouldn’t be that bad.”
“There’s something that feels really good right now about having no attachments,” she said. “I mean, I cancelled all my bills except for my cell phone. It’s like college.”
Then I considered offering her a glass of wine, but seeing as how it was only 2 o’clock in the afternoon, I didn’t (mostly because I know she would have accepted and a glass would have turned into a bottle and then I would have to call the school to tell them I couldn’t get Abe because I was drunk. And they frown upon that.)
Remember being fearless with barely any responsibility? Why does growing up come with responsibility, the kind we prescribe to ourselves, and that murders our fearlessness?! Sure, Abe is a responsibility I chose and I LOVE that responsibility. (Most days. Well, there are days…) But truth be told, I don’t need a house or new cars or a gym membership. I got along fine without any of that stuff in my 20s. In fact, I seemed to be pretty happy with far less baggage (literally and figuratively).
My friend Jason recently posted a blog about himself when he was young. He described Young Jason: “Young Me played ball until he couldn’t even see the rim. Young Me also had a back story for all his toys. Young Me had a spaceship made out of a bush that grew next to two oak trees and had half of a cinder block for the commander’s chair. Young Me didn’t care what others thought. Young Me rocked.”
What did your Young Me do that your Old Me doesn’t?
Young Me decorated the pages of my journals with paint and crayons.
Young Me laughed the loudest and didn’t care.
Young Me tossed out unsolicited opinions.
Young Me watched movies alone.
Young Me went jogging any old time, not concerned about when the last time I went jogging.
Young Me painted my favorite quotes on my walls.
Young Me hugged everyone.
Young Me danced without drinking first.
Young Me climbed trees.
My Young Me rocked, too. I could probably stand to be a little more like my Young Me. Let go of whatever inhibitions or secret voices are telling me “I’m too old for that,” and just do it. I probably won’t start by going jogging, because that sounds horrible, but I might watch a movie alone tonight.