Tomorrow, I turn 42. Which is awesome. Getting older isn't that scary, honestly. I have gray hair, I have some lines on my face and I've survived good, bad and ugly. More good than bad or ugly, but enough to keep it interesting.
The thing that's really interesting about 42 is that it's the 21st anniversary of turning 21. And here in the US, that's the legal drinking age. That's not to say I waited til I turned 21. But even in college, I wasn't a big drinker, and honestly, turning 21 didn't change much.
But since it's a rite of passage, I went out with my roommate and her boyfriend and got completely plowed. I ended up getting sick off the side of my sorority house's porch, in the rain. How ladylike. The next morning, as I attempted to remove my eye makeup, I learned that what I thought was mascara was actually broken blood vessels from extreme vomiting. CLASSY.
So, here's my first advice. Go easy on alcohol. I'll refer to two other people who have said things that I found helpful. The first is my friend Don. He doesn't drink anymore because as he says, "I used up all my drink tickets. Most people make theirs last a lifetime, and I didn't."
My husband says, "I never want to drink so much that I become an alcoholic, because I like to drink occasionally and I'd hate to give that up."
My grandmother used to see Jesus in her fish tank when she drank too much. She went cold turkey one day at the insistence of one of the grandkids (not me, I would have been a baby).
|Like this, only more terrifying, if that's possible.|
So, I'm careful with the firewater. I still drink, just in extreme moderation because it makes me feel like hot, buttered garbage. My advice to you is, use your drink tickets in moderation - make them last.
My next advice to you is to get comfortable with death. Not your own. You have plenty of time (probably). But people are going to die. Grandparents, parents of friends...sometimes even friends. People your age. Several high school classmates died, three sorority sisters are gone - from very grown up things like cancer, heart attacks. It sucks and it's weird. And you don't have to love it, but get comfortable with it - at the very least, learn how to offer your condolences - because people who are grieving don't care if you say the perfect thing - they just want you to say SOMETHING.
My final advice to you, twenty-somethings is be patient with those of us in our 40s. We honestly feel like it was just yesterday we were barfing off the side of our porch in the rain. So, when we mention something about the 90s, don't tell us that's the year you were born. Someday you'll be 40, and your back will hurt from watching TV funny the night before, and the whippersnapper one cubicle over will say something like, "What's Spotify?", and you'll remember that everyone was young once and will be old eventually. And that you were probably a little bit of an asshole when you were young too.
So, that's my advice. Take it or leave it, but I offer it in love.