I would say a hallmark of being 23 is a lot of doubt, insecurity, and pressure. Society says I should be done with my Bachelor’s degree, done with my Master’s, in an entry level position at an office somewhere, wearing pencil skirts, and driving a car I own.
Well, I gotta tell you, none of that stuff is in my life right now, except the occasional black pencil skirt with a cute blouse.
I am a senior in college, five years older than the freshman likely to be in some of my classes next week. I have made my peace with this, since my path to university wasn’t standard. I drive my mom’s old truck, and work for three different business women, all from the comfort of my desk at home, instead of out at an office. It might not look like the societal ideal that we are all somehow aware of- although if I have learned anything from Lena Dunham and HBO’s GIRLS, that ideal doesn’t actually exist.
At any rate, I am happy with where I stand at 23, especially in this new year. 2014 already seems to be touched with a kind of magic, that tells me, ‘Yeah girl, you’re right. It’s gonna be a fun year.’
I don’t believe that fun things just happen, and think you have to work pretty hard in order to make a good time. I mean, it might seem counterintuitive, but for a lot of the best memories I have, there was real work behind it. For example, floating the river in New Braunfels requires transferring alcohol from glass bottles to river-safe plastic ones, driving an hour, waiting in line, spending money to rent tubes with coupons carefully clipped beforehand, and figuring out what to do with your shoes and phone once you’re next to the beautiful, lazy river.
Dinners with friends where you sit and laugh for hours, ordering wine and appetizers and desserts and staying until after closing require a lot of “Where are you?” texts and planning on where to park and who’s going to drive.
Yet of course the “work” is worth it for a fab time. Five days into 2014, and I am definitely sure of this.
On New Year’s Day, Scott, Tom, and I went to the wedding of BMX rider Tony Cardona and his now-wife Rose. It was at Mount Bonnell, and the work was seeing the insanity that is Mt. Bonnell on all of Austin, Texas’s day off, and making small talk with thirty-five beer drinking, tattooed wedding guests who I didn’t know too well.
But it was a magic day, with our winter suddenly clearing up for a perfectly sunny, 65 degree afternoon; it was a moment to witness a community showing their support, friendship, love, and affinity for a good party, even if that party is one of holy matrimony. The groom wore Vans with his tux and the bride’s gorgeous lipstick only stayed put until the first kiss, but it was all beautiful nonetheless. Here is Scott and me off to the side of the group photo, grabbing a pic amidst the laughter and screams as all of us gathered, scaring nearby families and taking happy pictures all together.
Then there was the night a couple days later when we ran into one of Scott’s oldest friends, from back on Long Island in the mid-90s (!!!) in Whole Foods. We have a funny ability to run into Darryl Nau in various places, from a crazy run in during the one weekend we were in New York, to the backstage entrance at the Nora Cup BMX party.
We all caught up, and then Darryl introduced us to Jade, who works at the barbecue station in Whole Foods. We had actually just been talking about barbecue, after watching the Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations episode where he visited Austin and raved about our bbq spots. Jade hooked us up with a huge plate of smoked brisket, turkey, ham, and god knows what else that we dipped in barbecue sauce and ate at the end of the bar. The “work” in this case is the time it takes to make sure old friendships don’t fall by the wayside, and the openness to expect friendships to bloom in unlikely places, like the bbq station at Whole Foods downtown.
Now tonight, we’re going to go pick up Mandy and dog-sit for Rose this week. The “work” here is obvious, since dogs don’t walk and feed themselves, and our routine will be interrupted by Miss Mandy Magoobles (as I call her), however, the fun is just crazy obvious when you look at her little face.
I know there is plenty more to come, too!
What has your 2014 looked like so far? What do you do to create a fun life?
Have a good Sunday!