So I still own a number of fun t-shirts, including the one to the left? So what? I know not to wear them to work. I know not to wear sweats to a formal dinner. I know not to flash too much cleavage when meeting a company bigwig or somebody's family. I know the appropriate times to wear glitter eyeliner and pin-up girl red lipstick. I'm a bonafide grownup with a quirky sense of style, but I'm not stupid. I'm also not What Not to Wear material.
Look, I'm almost 29. There's less than a month to go. I am not really excited about all the remarks I will hear for the next year about being "almost 30". It's really odd to me, because I don't feel like I'm almost 30. Some of my friends are settling down and having kids/adopting dogs. That's fine, but that's just not me right now. My friend Alana and I were talking the other week about one of her best pals from college. He doesn't return her calls and never wants to get together now that he has a kid.
He says things are so different now, he just doesn't know. Alana has been with the same guy for a couple of years, and they have a house and a cat. She's the successful assistant manager of a Hot Topic store, and she's very active in her local roller derby. At the very core, these are all stable, adult things to do--falling in love, buildng a family, working a fulfilling job, belonging to a club you feel passionate about. She said she'd love to meet her friend's little munchkin, but he seems to be afraid of someone who isn't a "real" grown-up yet. I dunno. She sounds pretty real to me.
The more I think about it, the more the timeline of aging seems arbitrary. Sure, I'm not going to dress the same at 40 as I did at 21. I might not even dress the same way I do now. Yet, I don't see that I'm ever going to stop feeling energized by a really good concert. I don't picture myself ever getting really into smooth jazz or adult contemporary soft pop. I don't think I'm ever going to say, "I'm too old to read comic books." I don't see these choices as an inevitability, the way some people seem to expect us all to. Just because I still want to get a tattoo, because I go to basement shows, because I still like purchasing clothing in bright colors--none of that makes me an irresponsible, immature adult!
I don't see why I have to stop doing the things I like just because someone thinks I'm "too old". In fact, here's a list of things that I really like that some folks would say I'm nearly past my prime for:
- Going to rock concerts
- Watching cartoons
- Wearing the occasional novelty t-shirt
- Striped knee-high socks
- Leggings (I do not wear them with Uggs--they are inappropriate at every age. Why do people wear them out of their houses?! So schlumpy!)
- Having a strong imagination
Well guess what, haters? I feel pretty damn good about myself. I know how to conduct myself in most situations. This may make me a bit of a social chameleon, but what's wrong with that?
If someone ever says to me, "You don't seem like you're almost 30!" in a negative way, I may do something very immature: roll my eyes. Because really, what difference does it make right now? I am who I am, and I'm mostly happy with who that person is, so I'm not going to apologize for not acting however you believe a 29-year-old should act.
I'm good, thanks. Even fun-loving. I'm Hannah. I'm here, and I'm ready for whatever comes next.
And it just so happens that the next "next" is going to be a poetry slam tomorrow night, followed by Two Door Cinema Club and Tokyo Police Club at the Trocadero in Philadelphia on Saturday. Drinks, earplugs and ironic t-shirt are all set to go.
And on Monday? It's back to business casual and the perkiest receptionist voice you've ever heard.