Tuesday, May 17, 2016

my 20s, a-z

As of this writing, I have 10 days left until I cross the threshold into my 30s. Forgive me for being cliche, but I have to admit that 30 always did seem impossibly far away. It was an age reserved for Jennifer Garner or Katherine Heigl in some pathetic, sugary rom-com; one that even the greats like Cobain, Morrison, and Hendrix never even got to see. So, imagine my surprise to not-so-suddenly find myself standing right next to the fire. Yet, rather than let it freak me out, I'm throwing on a hoodie, cracking open a beer, and fixing myself a s'more. Okay ... maybe two s'mores.

My 20s were immeasurably impactful in so many ways. Sure, there were some major milestones: moving into my first place, losing my virginity, searching for/finding/meeting my birthparents, graduating from college, beginning my marketing career, moving 3,000 miles away from home by myself to go to grad school, getting my master's degree, traveling to many places in the U.S. and to Europe twice, and having my writing published in a couple anthologies and various places on the interwebs. Yet, when I look back on it all, some of my most fond and vivid memories stem from some unexpected, strange, or seemingly insignificant experiences. For posterity and brevity, I rounded up 26 of 'em. What are/were your favorite 20-something memories?

Attempting to drunkenly assemble a kitchen table with my roommate on the first night in our apartment in the North End of Boston, after we split a bottle of wine and cried a lot (20)

Biting into a strawberry from the Cours Saleya farmers market in Nice, France on a sunny spring day (25)

Contacting a guy through MySpace that I saw on a VH1 game show one random weeknight because I thought he was funny, and having a 2-year long-distance relationship with him (20)

Doing the dougie on stage at a club in Florence, Italy (25)

Eating the best meal I've ever had in my life, braised bison cheek with vegetables, at Chez Boulay in Quebec City (28)

Following the sound of EDM into a square in Rome and seeing Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, DJing (26)

Getting in line by myself for the reunion concert of an emo band I loved in 2005, The Academy Is..., starting a conversation with the guys standing in line behind me, and accepting a ride back to my car after the show from one of them, my now-boyfriend (29)

Having one of the most ridiculous evenings of my life in New York at The Standard hotel, during which I took a mirror toilet selfie in the insane bathroom of the Boom Boom Room, almost passed out on the rooftop bar's astro turf, and was encouraged to jump into a hot tub full of colored balls and naked hipsters that was in the middle of a dance floor (I declined) (24)

Interning at the Metro Boston newspaper, where I got to write pithy event listings, interview some of my favorite bands at the time, listen to demos, and attend a bunch of rock shows for free (21)

Jamming out to a cover of Muddy Waters' "Got My Mojo Workin'" that was being spontaneously performed by one of the line cooks at Robert's Western World in Nashville (25)

Kissing a WASPy dude from North Carolina named Tillery in a pool cabana at Caesars Palace during a friend's bachelorette party in Vegas (24)

Laughing with a Norwegian rock band in a South by Southwest shuttle van filled with bizarre religious paraphernalia on St. Patrick's Day ("There are a lot of Irish whores out there!") (25)

Making coffee (and change) for my high school crush, who would appear at the Dunkin' Donuts drive-thru -- stoned and listening to Howard Stern -- every morning of the summer I worked there (20)

Navigating the Russian Hill neighborhood of San Francisco on my first solo vacation, and being rewarded with this view from the end of Macondray Lane (29):


Ordering sea urchin at a bougie South Beach sushi spot and immediately regretting it upon the first bite (23)

Passing around a warm can of beer with short-lived synth rock band Protokoll in their van after a hipster dance party (20)

uestioning the legitimacy of a quacky doctor who claimed he could cure Alzheimer's and reverse Parkinson's disease at a hotel happy hour in Vero Beach, Florida (25)

Rapping along to Limp Bizkit and Method Man's "N 2Gether Now" with a bouncer at a Vegas nightclub (21)

Standing in my kitchen at 11pm on a summer night, eating a frangipane tart I made in my baking class, feeling simultaneously accomplished and incredibly lonely (29)

Throwing a coin in the Trevi Fountain on my 26th birthday

Urging the asshole bouncer at the Foggy Goggle to give me my fake ID back after he laughed me out of the line (I got it back for $50) (20)

Visiting a friend in Tampa for the annual Gasparilla Pirate Parade, drinking sangria from a large plastic jug, and getting a ton of beads without flashing anyone (25)

Walking barefoot with Hanson around Gillette Stadium for an African charity (22)

Xeroxing copies of the nightly dinner specials while working as a hostess at a faux Irish pub in Boston (21)

Yelling to a Tinder fuckboy that ghosted me after a not-quite friendship with minimal benefits when I saw him on the 77 bus with his new girlfriend/watching him go white as a ghost, walk back to the front of the bus, almost shit his pants, and make them get off before their stop (28)

Zeroing in on Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age when I randomly spotted him on the street in New Orleans (27)


  1. This may sound weird but once you hit 30, you realize you can kick ass twice as efficiently. You'll take more trips, see more of the world, do more, love more and be more that you ever thought possible in your 20's. In your 20's you think 30 is death, when you get to 30, you realize it's rebirth. Live begins anew. As for me, my twenties weren't too crazy but I do remember sleeping in my cramped car for two days going to Austin City Limits concert and almost getting busted by the cops for going to party that same weekend where, unbeknowst to me, there was underage drinking.

    1. So well-said! Not gonna lie, I feel ready for my 30s and I'm secretly looking forward to it. :) Have always wanted to go to ACL. Sounds fun!