At 26, I was expecting to be further along and not having to shovel dirt into an empty hole of promise.
Title: Whitneybutler’s Blog
Author: Whitney Butler
Blogging since: 2010
Post Title: Birthday Fantasy
Post Date: October 31, 2012
I’m in a public gym on a Stairmaster having an erotic fantasy. What is going on with me? It’s a few days before my birthday, I’m about to turn 26, and I’m projecting a steamy shower scene from an endless staircase. Perfect.
Am I the only 25-year-old kind of freaking out about being 26?
Trust me, this isn’t melancholy over passing the proverbial threshold of the early 20s. It’s not about how “making out with a stranger in-da’-club” no longer satisfies my abnormally chauvinistic sexual prowess. Nor is this about the youthful excuses that are slowly becoming socially non-applicable:
“Yeah...sorry about the house. I was really drunk. Tell your parents I said ‘my bad.’”
“Sorry, Jason, I’ve just never done this before. I don’t think I’m ready.”
Nope, that’s certainly not going to work anymore. This isn’t even about the fact that shopping at Forever 21 now makes me feel more self-aware of my imminent super-morbid obesity.
Actually, I have no idea what this is about, because right now, I’m having an erotic fantasy at the gym. What was I talking about?
At 26, I guess I was expecting to be further along and not having to shovel dirt into an empty hole of promise made to a generation of 20-somethings, all trying to figure it out during some serious national bullshit.
It’s a big, scary world out there, people, and I don’t mean to sound dark, but the bottom line is this: being 26…kind of sucks, and not because of the aforementioned inequalities between myself and those still on the underbelly of adulthood, clinging to their aspirations like baby monkeys.
Twenty-six sucks because those aspirations are entirely possible, and I’m the only thing standing in the way of realizing them. But resources have become increasingly more limited across every plane of personal growth and prosperity this beautiful country has to offer.
“But, Whitney, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you.”
Shut-up, Grandma! When you were 26, you had a husband, kids, a house, and Social Security. Your man enjoyed real wage increases and the Federal Reserve wasn’t ruining everyone’s life savings. I work 60 hours a week on a 1099 contract, for God’s sake. Where’s my benefit? Oh, that’s right, I can have an abortion.
So, excuse me for my lack of celebration. I’m too busy being an emotionally introspective writer-type who occasionally has amazing fantasies at the gym.
However, I promised myself to be progressive about this birthday; to stand bold and take command of these feelings that may just be disillusioned anxieties creeping up my backside like icky black spiders. The spiders are just hyperbole, but the feelings are real — however disenchanted they may be.
Instead of letting those feelings thwart my birthday promise, I’ll be busy looking at the bright side of gaining invaluable life experience, priceless seconds of unadulterated joy and the company of people I am truly honored to share this journey with.
[One year earlier…]
Post Title: Homecoming
Post Date: October 30, 2011
I feel like I have been living out of a suitcase for the past fifteen months. I get the sense that most people enjoy some level of stability or permanency; a sense of what is to come, at least an idea of how to speculate one’s future. But when you barely have an address, when you pick up three different coin currencies off the bottom of the washing machine, look at them in your hand, you start to wonder: what am I doing? And if and when you figure it out, you wonder even more if you made the right decision.
I was lost. Somewhere between jobs, between countries, between thoughts on what I was going to do next. It’s hard to imagine that anyone could miss home when they’re touring through one of the most beautiful places on the planet: the French Riviera is beautiful. A ride along the Amalfi Coast is said to be a religious experience, but I wasn’t looking for God. I was thinking about home — whatever that means.