In the Still of the Night


There are exactly eighty-seven minutes left until midnight, the final eighty-seven minutes of my twenties. I hauled out my laptop to write about this from my bed, and I had to move a phone, a tablet, a Kindle, and a plate full of taco wrappers out of the way to make that happen. If that isn't the perfect bookend to whatever I was doing ten years ago, I don't know what is. In fact, the taco wrappers are such a beautifully pathetic addition to this story that I might frame one of them and belly-laugh about it until I'm forty.

I very earnestly thought I was going to be one of those people who could coast through this transition without getting sentimental or nostalgic, even though I'm one of those people who gets sentimental and nostalgic about taco wrappers. Surprisingly, I believed this lie all the way up until this evening, when my boyfriend texted, "You're running out of 20s, Bae." I stared at my phone and couldn't ignore it anymore. This is the end of a thing. I hate endings. I've been trying to work myself up into a proper panic ever since.

So here I sit, listening to Jamie Cullum's Twentysomething album on repeat and laughing at the mess on my bed and trying to figure out why this feels like a goodbye. I'm delighted with the person I became in my twenties, and I'm afraid that I will abandon some part of that as my responsibilities change and my world evolves. As with many fears, it completely ignores history (I have always been true to myself and have always loved myself for it), and it presumes that Future Me is somehow less capable than Past Me at adapting to new situations, which doesn't even make sense. I mean, just last month, Past Me bought a cowgirl hat at the county fair, which will obviously be a great asset for Future Me.

Maybe this won't be so bad. Maybe I can handle this after all.

Twenty minutes are left on the clock, and I have managed to talk myself out of a panic attack. I always legitimately look forward to birthday celebrations anyway, but I really want to be able to enjoy this particular birthday without fear or anxiety, gosh dang it. This is the start of a thing, and I really like starting things. And in the spirit of starting things off on the right foot, I will now clean up the remnants of Taco Thursday and settle in for a good night's sleep on a clean bed.

Farewell, twenties.