Saturday, January 24, 2009

Don't ask me. Ask the eightball.

“Reply Hazy. Try again.” That’s what my ninety-nine cent, thrift store find of an eight ball said to me this morning, firesided, as I gave it a searching shake. It’s funny because the question I asked was a bit “hazy” too.- In fact, I didn’t really ask a question, just wondered what the eight ball might have to say. Something about this interaction between an eight ball and myself reminded me of a conversation I had with a friend yesterday. The parts of the conversation I’ll share deal with the joys of being a twenty-something year old. –(This is sarcasm’s cue, in case you missed it).

This friend and I, in a round about way, were talking about identity, about not having a nano-sense of “who we are,” and what we want, where we’re going or how. My twenties, as I grow nearer and nearer to 30- which I imagine is like reaching the tip-top of a roller-coaster hill, looking out before dropping, have been quite bizarre.( And still are, by the way, for three more years). For the most part, being in your twenties has been a no-place place, a sort of mindless, confused wandering where you know you’re supposed to go somewhere but you just can’t remember where.- I picture a helium balloon that is a day or so old, inching in the air, lowly along the ground, its string dangling the floor. Every now and then it catches a little current and tentatively bops right or left, moving, but not travelling far. This, to me, is the essence of one’s twenties. -A really bizarre place where you just don’t have much of a clue about yourself at all, though you try to. So you aimlessly wander a little, here and there, but to no avail do you arrive anywhere. And at a certain point in one’s twenties you stop trying to figure out much of anything at all, because in your experience, such thinking produces very little but frustration.

So a little angry was I when I was watching Oprah a few weeks ago and I happened to catch a clip of the show in which the glories of post menopausal life were being discussed. There I was, munching my Orville Rettenbacher, kettle-korn popcorn, when I heard a panel of celebrities now in their fifties and sixties discuss the difficulty of the twenties, and how none of them really had a clue “who they were.” Oprah agreed and they all nodded in this “common knowledge,” quiet knowing, sort of way. Need I say, that when I heard this, I was not only relieved (that my sense of self, or lack there of was validated and not singular to me), but I was also pissed! Pissed because no one had ever told me that what I have been experiencing for some time now is a “life stage,” is common knowledge, is even “normal!” –This common knowledge of the world at large seems to be known by everyone EXCEPT for those in their twenties (at least prior to the Oprah airing). I think, 'If I had only known this a long time ago, a lot of confusion and the mistaken perception that I am the only one who doesn’t have a clue about where she’s going, (despite my ever cool sunglasses) could have been spared.' I have resolved that whenever appropriate, I will pass this information along, especially to those it pertains to.

It was yesterday that I did just that, and I ask the old question, ‘What good is information and knowledge if it is not shared with the world?’ As for when my thirties do arrive, I think I’ll research them a little bit first. -I do know one thing: a woman’s thirties are supposed to be her sexual peak. (Maybe that was the roller coaster image coming to mind?). Other than that, I can not say my knowledge of the thirties is very extensive. But rest assured world, if there isn’t an apocalypse of 2012, then I will most definitely be learning about them in time for their arrival. This time around, I’ll be prepared. In the meantime, this not knowing who you are thing really sucks. So take that eight ball and shake it!

1 comment:

  1. Basically, the same thing happened to me, until I was 28. Then I knew. So maybe you'll shave a few years off the life stage as there's nothing magic about the number 30.