My early twenties, the years of my mindless actions, died as the third decade of my life became closer than the beginning of my 20th year of my existence. The first half of my twenties took their final breath surrounded by the experiences and knowledge I gained through the journey called life. Those years are survived by my friends that stood by me when I wanted to run from myself, my family that loved me for better or for worse, and my new view on the latter half of my twenties that should provide me with just as many adventures but with a bigger budget.
I met my early twenties on October 3rd, 2008, with bottles of Goldschlager and Mountain Dew. I should have known then that it would be a rocky few years, but God, did those gold flakes taste good sliding down my throat. There was an instant connection and passion that ran deep between these years and my heart. We were young and foolish as we ran to my mid-twenties, thinking we had all the answers. But as my early twenties said their final good-byes, I kissed their forehead and wiped away my tears knowing that I really don’t know much at all.
Looking back at the first half of the second decade that I’ve been on this earth creates visions of denim skirts and tube tops, cans of Natty Lights, sprinkled in with studying and taking my first steps toward the intersection of Post-College Avenue and Real World Drive. I wanted to lie in the middle of that intersection in order to be in two places at once, but I eventually turned onto Real World Drive, with the vision of Post-College Avenue in my rear view mirror.
My early twenties presented me with several love affairs that provided me with heartache and pain, but valuable lessons that every woman should take to her new life. These years allowed me to sprint after boys that should never have been chased, and feel pain for the ones who felt nothing at all. As I lay my early twenties to rest, a smile and laugh escape my body because not only did I survive the debauchery of those years, I escaped from the hold of the ones that were never meant to be.
The years between 20 and 25 were smooth talkers at the beginning that reeled me in with great conviction, but my relationship with those years became tumultuous and erratic. Those gold flakes in that bottle of Goldschlager that seduced me into this decade were no longer as easy to swallow and neither were my bad habits and bad relationships. The illumination that broke the darkness during this time was the lights at bars and clubs, but even those would be turned off at the end of the night. After charming me with soothing words and the taste of cheap alcohol, my early twenties eventually showed me its dark side with solitude and loneliness disguised as a crowded room with booze and loud music.
A flame started to shine within me as I started to reach the end of my early twenties that lead me through the darkness. With the help of several different job titles, numerous bottles of beer and slices of pizza, and the countless laughs shared with friends, I can lay my early twenties to rest. Goldschlager and denim skirts have been replaced with bottles of Riesling and skinny jeans, and more clarity to look ahead through my windshield instead of looking back in my rearview mirror. But nostalgia and carefree moments briefly resurrect my younger years during my journey to a so-called afterlife- my late twenties. Some call me old, some call me young, but I just say I’m adding life to my years.