My 24th birthday is in a couple days and sometimes you can catch me saying that I'm turning old. Take this as dry sarcasm . . . for the most part. I'm turning oldER. The things that make me feel old:
1) it's my first birthday after school, living as an independent *gulp* adult
2) Looking back over the past ten years, I've got a good amount of living under my belt. Ten years ago was when I was first struggling for independence, autonomy, individuality.
"Old" is an entirely relative term; I do feel "old" compared to my pre-undergrad life and with the realization that my childhood (dependence, being seen as a burden rather than a person, attachment, unrealistic idealism) is more than ten years ago. And as for being a year closer to senior citizenship - which is still decades away - I offer you this quote from a friend of mine:
Anna: "You're not old."
Her grandmother: "Ninety next year, what do you think?"
Anna: "That doesn't make you old, that makes you awesome."
I've known people who spend their birthdays crying because they're a year closer to senior citizenship/menopause/death. WHO CARES?!?!?! There's nothing you can do to stop it and these events are negative only if you make them so, why cry about it?!?! Instead of thinking that I have a limited time in which to accomplish many things, I figure that I'll do what I'll do and then I won't anymore. Maybe I think/feel this way because I view neither childbearing nor marriage as favorable, thus having no need for a "biological clock." I'm well aware that the main reason why I reject both of these things is that I very recently gained autonomy/independence/individuality and both marriage and parenthood require giving up that. I'll probably think and feel differently years from now.
To end on a lighter note, a list of things I want to do in life. If I live as long and as well as my other female relatives, that gives me around sixty years; a good long time to accomplish these things at my pace and to add more to the list:
- travel the world (wow that's vague)
- more specifically: ALL OF INDIA KASHMIR BANGLADESH, the Celtic/British lands, Scandinavia, Japan, Germany, all 50 states
- artist-in-residence programs in national and state parks
- get my MFA from the School of the Art Institute
- join the ranks of Georgia O'Keefe, Harmony Hammond and Victor Higgins as a Midwestern artist painting the Southwest
- perform in drag
- see Ringo Starr in concert
- be a pimp...again
- have a ridiculous amount of pets
- become a renown/infamous queer activist
- get my artwork into a museum
- learn mechanics
- open a woodworking studio
- take in foster children who are trans/intersex, join a Big Sibling program and/or something along those lines
- live in a swanky Chicago condo, then move to an A-frame in Galena when I retire (which could be anytime) to a self-sustaining lifestyle
- go skiing, fishing, hiking, and swimming as often as possible
- be a more prominent figure in my family
- look like a sweet elderly person to the younger generations of my family, whose parents have to pressure them to spend time with me. When their parents aren't paying attention, I'll tell them some insane story of my youth. While they're gaping in awe, I'll throw them into the pool.