I’m 29. Not 17.
I’m not getting my license or picking out a prom dress. I’m not taking the SAT, ACT, MAT, DVD, RU-me. I’m not passing notes in class – I’m writing them in my notes books and slyly shifting them for you viewing pleasure – or drooling on the desk. I’m not taking Biology, Chemistry, History or Geography. I’m still hating gossip, but now I’m spitting on it in an ally. I’m not leaving campus for lunch as a privilege. I’m not planning my next scholastic step or opening a bank account. I’m not plastering my walls with magazine clippings, I’m painting them like Frida.
I’m 29. Not 13.
I’m not excited by electives. Or attempting to avoid gym class. I’m not shyly changing the corner but openly at the sink in the bathroom. I’m not worried about developing breasts, I’m trying to get rid of them. I’m not being teased about being skinny, I’m struggling to accept. I do not blush at the sight of that boy or stand along the wall at a school dance. I’m not doodling on my notebooks or fighting for first chair. I’m not worried about a tampon or my father noticing the change. I’m not making radio stations on cassette tapes or playing outside with my brother. I’m not teenage angst. I’m adulthood submerged.
I’m 29. Not 21.
I’m not excited about my first drink or partying ’till the AM. I’m not skipping out on class, I’m stressing about being ill. I’m not lazily existing in gaps, I’m cramming, I’m book, I’m overloaded. I’m not excited about a new sexual partner or purchasing my first toy. I’m changing batteries. I’m not floating in the air, bouncing off the clouds and living in this moment. I’m not idealistic or optimistic. I’m not revolving in a circle around myself – I’m sick with worry about others, about the problems to solve. I’m not 21 – thank god.
I’m 29. And on the inside…I’m 65.
I’m ready for retirement. Ready for the sunset. I’m ready to leave behind the day book, not answer the phone and fumble with technology. I’m ready to travel, to go on extended trips with all the time in the world. I want to spend all day with a book, have time to catch up on my New Yorkers. I want to spend the time drifting about museums and volunteering because I can. I’m ready to reference the retro and fondly recount memories. I’m ready for water, for earth and stillness. I’m 29 and I’m moving faster than I want to.
I’m 29. And I’m tired.