The big 29. The last year of my controversial 20s. The last year society tells me I can act like an idiot. How do I feel about this cosmic shift in my life? Pretty good actually. For the last couple of years, I have verbally raped my friends with woe and sorrow over inching closer to 30 because for a while I thought 30 meant my life was over. It was hard for me to see what my life was going to hold past 30. At the time I had no idea who I was when I was dragging my knuckles around on the ground complaining I was getting old, and couldn’t fathom staying up past 11PM on a week night anymore. Now, that I am actually the age I was dreading to be, I’m not too terribly upset about it anymore. I am actually kind of excited about it, weird right?. Who ever thought you could get excited about getting older? Definitely not me. I am definitely a firm believer in living every day like it is your last. Never waste a single moment, always keep creating, always keep imagining having a bigger life than what you are living in that moment. I don’t know if it was Jim Henson having such an astonishing effect on me when I was a kid or if this type of mentality was just genetically zapped into my brain at birth but I am glad I never stop reaching for the stars.
Now, looking back at this last year, I can see a definitive cosmic shift in who I am. There is a sense of calm that has come over me in many aspects of my life. - Let’s be clear though, I am still a spaz with her own set of paranoia, anxiety and obnoxious OCD problems. That might never change - 28 was a pretty awesome year for me. There were a couple of hiccups along the way, but for once I am not letting the negative situations define who I am. I have somehow learned to move on from such events and become a stronger person all on my own, without medication, hospitalization or too much soul searching. For any one of you who know me in real life and spend a great deal of time with me, this is a very large victory on my part. Gold star for me - woot woot.
So what’s next for this freshly minted 29 year old? Quite a lot actually. My mind is constantly moving, creating, shifting, and experimenting. There isn’t a dull moment within the cells of my brain. It works on overdrive 99% of the time. That other 1% is when I am actually trying to sleep, which I don’t get very much of anymore. I am that type of person who enjoys setting unrealistic goals for herself. I am pretty proud when I actually meet those expectations regardless of what other people might think. Let’s see what new adventures 29 can bring to me. I am ready for the last year of my 20s and the unrealistic and realistic goals I have already set for myself for this next year, and beyond. I am a dreamer who likes making the impossible possible and the improbable the most probable in the best ways. I’m your one crazy friend, who marches to the beat of her own drum and keeps you on your toes. Let’s see what I can do next.
I leave you with this, an embarrassing birthday memory of why I need to just stop drinking all together. Enjoy.
I am going to preface this little memory by saying, I am no good at holding my liquor, never have been and probably never will be. When you get me going, I barrel past my threshold and enter the land of no return. You can thank my thick Irish and Italian blood for that type of drinking mentality. This particular evening I am going to share with you, was not the first time I had saddled up to the hot mess express rodeo and trust me, it was by far not the last - (ex - my best friends sister’s wedding reception where I decided even after the open bar had closed down that it would be a good idea to finish all the abandoned drinks littered on the tables OR the incident at the Beauty Bar in Chicago for another friends birthday where I went past my limit and literally removed my best friend from the toilet she was pissing in to vomit all over it. - JUST TO NAME A FEW). So brace yourself for an epic embarrassing story.
In my early 20s, I spent a good portion of my time being a music photographer, going on tour with bands etc. The fans associated with the music I enjoy listening to are pretty legendary. We are all like a big family, most being around for over a decade or more, meeting up for drinks at shows etc. I met my partner in crime Sarah Jane also known as SJ at a Lawrence Arms show in Pittsburgh before either one of us moved to Chicago. We became friends instantly because of our love of the Lawrence Arms but over time realized we are both pretty big nerds for things like transit systems. Once we both moved to Chicago, we hung out quite a bit, most importantly around our birthdays. She was born on the 4th of August and I was born on the 9th so it became a tradition to celebrate together. Back then the lead singer of the Lawrence Arms, Brendan Kelly also known as BK, bartended most nights at the Northside Bar and Grill in Wicker Park. We would go on the weekends, chat him up and in return usually get some kind of buffet of free drinks from him. That particular year we decided the best way to celebrate our birthdays was with BK at his bar. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of eating before embarking on the amount of drinking we did that night. We thought we were so cool with our vodka cranberries, and whiskey shots. We were just the coolest punk girls ever. BK poured us drink after drink, shot after shot. I do believe there were quite a few lemon drops mixed in on that toxic cocktail as well. I hope you all are mentally keeping track of the different types of liquor I was ingesting on an empty stomach. I do not remember leaving the bar. I do not remember getting on the train back to Logan Square. I do not remember calling my high school boyfriend and telling him how madly in love with him I was and how I needed to make his babies right then and there or else I would die. I do not remember how I even managed to get into my apartment building either, it took at least 3 separate keys to enter my apartment and you best believe I somehow found a way. My roommate Laura found me the next morning in nothing but my underwear gripping the bottom of the toilet. I couldn’t sit up, I could barely open my eyes the pain was so intense. I was learning very quickly why you never mixed certain drinks together and why staying away from sugary ones is always the wisest course of action. Oh Laura, bless her and the crackers she brought to me in my time of need. What would I have done without her? I would have died on that floor, from humiliation and dehydration more than likely. The authorities would have been called when I failed to show up for work, they would have stormed into my apartment and found my body shriveled up like a raisin. My mother would have cried at my funeral. The tombstone would have said “DIED FROM MIXING TOO MANY TYPES OF LIQUOR, WHAT AN AMATEUR”. Thanks to Laura and the box of crackers from the neighboring 24 hour Food Smart, my mother didn’t have to worry about smudging her mascara at my funeral because I lived to see another day though at the time it sure didn’t feel like I would. I laid in the living room chair, with my glass of water and crackers all day, trying to recover, SJ doing the same from her respective living room space up in Bryn Mawr. After that SJ and I stopped trying to be hot mess expresses but history will show it took a few more failed nights out for us to fully grasp the fact we were just big nerds who needed to stay away from the booze.
I’d like to say now at 29 I know how to not be a hot mess express but there are still moments when that notion is negotiable - EX - Jenna’s wedding reception 2 years ago where I drank my weight in wine and beer then vomited in the shower the next morning and the whole way to Portland Maine later that day. Kyle had to put a CVS bag around my face like a horse feedbag to catch my vomit. I’m a winner aimed for success I swear!
Until next time kids. This 29 year old needs to get some rest, she drank herself silly on Saturday and puked up a lung. Fun times.