I feel like I’m getting older these days, which is only natural seeing as I’m rapidly approaching my 30th birthday. Now I know that 29 is not old, but it occurred to me only a year ago that I am no longer young. It seems like I’m trapped in an age-related Purgatory.
The feeling of growing older was intensified after a recent work-related trip to Las Vegas, where despite venturing out to explore the strip with multiple drinks in hand, I was still in bed by 11 p.m. It wasn’t just Vegas, however. After all, Vegas- with its sidewalks coated in business cards featuring the pictures of naked escorts and streets lined in men wearing fluorescent T-shirts that read, ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ who tried to cram cards, flyers and other prostitute-related materials into my hand while muttering things like “Donkey Show” – just wasn’t for me.
There have been other signs that I’m getting older, and not all of them are bad. Sure, hair on my head has begun its migration south to floor of my bathtub, and the follicles who have chosen to stay in place decided on gray instead of the brown coloring that had suited them so well for these 29-years. And I even though I struggle to encourage new hair to grow from the top of my head; I find other hairs sprouting with ease from my ears and back, which I have long equated with old age.
I even had a 20-year-old refer to me as an old man the other day after I tried to convince him bonging beers was not the smartest way to consume Coors Light.
“I’m only 20 old man, don’t get mad you can’t do it anymore.”
And he was right; I can’t do it anymore. In college I drank mass-quantities of cheap beer with ease, only to wake up the next day to do it all over again. Being hung over in college was just an excuse to start drinking earlier; being hung over now is an excuse to lie around all day begging for death to pay me a visit. But at this point in my life it’s not like I need to be drinking like a 20-year-old anymore.
There are nights now were I’ll easily make the decision to trade a beer for a cup of tea and the bar from a game of Scrabble. Just typing that sentence made me feel so old I swear my fingers started to feel arthritic around the word “tea.”
But I’m okay with these signs of growing older. Aging is a natural part of life; I guess I’m just paying attention to it for the first time ever. Of course my hair will begin to fall out, I’ll require more sleep than I used to and I won’t be able to bong multiple beers in a row.
I know 29 is still very young in the grand scheme of things, but thinking back now to how much I’ve changed since I was 20, I can’t help wondering how much different I’ll be in the next nine or ten years. When you’re 20, nine years seems like an eternity, but since the age of 24 or 25- I can’t remember which one- the years have begun to move so quickly, that to me, nine years seems like just a few days ago.
I have no clue what life in my later 30s will be like or how much gray hair I’ll be left with; but one thing’s for sure, I won’t be drinking like a 20-year-old anymore, even if I wanted to.