You know, in some ways, it is nice to be a late bloomer. Not in the adolescent way, although I was a late bloomer in that regard, too, but in the Life-with-a-capital-L way. Sure, my twenties were more or less a write-off: an early, improbable marriage at age 22, endless restaurant jobs, no money, and the general feeling that my misery was a permanent and unshakable state. I was still young, but I felt so old, and by my mid-twenties I was ready to throw in the towel. Not a plush, colorful beach towel, but a cheap, thin rag with absolutely no absorbancy.
But, somehow, I was the beneficiary of some kind of universal grace, and was able to, over the course of years, maneuver to an entirely better place. I am still amazed. I am sure everyone who reaches their late thirties feels a kind of fondness and detachment from the person they were in their twenties, but this is different. This is the same kind of fundamental shift an alcoholic or a religious convert experiences. It is like shedding your skin, except the change is inside.
I certainly didn’t plan it–part of it was discovering, through some pitifully desperate soul-searching, that, deep-down, I was curious enough to hang around for what came next. But the rest I attribute to a kind of blind willingness to be buffeted around by events. Get knocked from one side of the country to the other; give up on my self-definition and stroll about identity-less for awhile.
I’ve lost some time. Jeez, I am closing in on 40. But I feel so grateful, because losing that time was so necessary for me to get to where I am now. These are my real twenties. Now, anything is possible. Any fucking thing.
Except having a pain-free back. And being able to grow a genuine moustache.But I can live with that.