POV: Old/Young.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

POV ("point of view") is a new series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV will focus on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.

It came to my attention recently that my ten-year high school reunion is this summer. 

“Ten years,” I said to Jamie. We were sitting on a bench outside our favorite neighborhood bakery, soaking up precious springtime rays. “We’re old.”

“We’re not old,” said Jamie. “I’ll save feeling old for when I’m thirty.”

A woman pushing a stroller stopped on the sidewalk in front of us.

“And where did all these people with babies come from?” I continued. “What is Williamsburg coming to?” I paused. “Oh my god. I’ve become someone who says ‘what is this neighborhood coming to?’” 

I sat back, thought about this.

“There was a time,” I said, watching her, “when I thought I’d be that woman at twenty-seven.” 
---
After dinner Wednesday night, I strolled the High Line with Megan and Yair (the High Line is an elevated park that extends along rusty old railroad tracks that peek through newly-planted greenery and shrubs, wild tulips and daffodils, sedge and sassafras).


Drunk on wine and chocolate and squid ink pasta, we wandered the park like children. Even after sundown, it contained no shortage of marvels. 

At 22nd Street, we came to a video projection of an artist, Oscar Munoz, using water to paint a self-portrait on a concrete sidewalk. As he paints, the water evaporates. The picture - the face - is never completed. 

My friends and I took a seat on the set of wooden stairs across from the projection and watched. “This is frustrating,” I said. “I just want him to finish already.”

“Hurry up!” Megan said, calling out to the man as his portrait dried. “You’re almost done!”

“I wonder if we’ll be able to tell when the video loops back to the beginning,” said Yair. We sat for a half hour, huddled in our sweaters and scarves. We couldn’t tell.

Still giddy, we danced home.

---

You can find my previous POV entries, here, and the archive for my personal essay column on the Equals Record, hereThank you so much, as always, for reading!

13 comments:

April said...

It's funny what young you thinks, right? When I was in high school all my friends were like I'll be married by 23, babies at 25! I was more of a 25/27 girl, sure, but now that I'm 23. . . WHOA, NELLY! Life's funny.

tara said...

I totally thought I'd have babies at 27, but now that I'm 27....I'm good to wait for a little bit.

That would be sooo frustrating to not see the portrait finished!! Ahhhhhh!!!

Kathy said...

What lovely parallels you draw here! When I was younger, I always complained about feeling old, and now the older I get, the younger (or perhaps, more clueless) I feel!

eileen ragan | leaner by the lake said...

Oh lord did I think my life would look different at 26 than it does today. It looks so different and so much better. I could have been married at 22, I could have taken a high paying job, I could have settled for a relationship that wasn't that great. But, I didn't do any of that and I couldn't be happier. Instead, I'm with a man who I know will love me until the end of time and we have zero plans to get married (maybe never?) and I have far from a high-paying job and I'm supporting the man to boot. But, you know, the heart wants what the heart wants and this crazy thing called our twenties and life in general seems like a huge process of just figuring out what all of that it. I've happily broken so many of my own expectation and it's been freeing and scary and exciting all at the same time.

angela said...

Sounds like you are enjoying your life so much right now! I am sure when the time is right for you to have a baby, you will know it!

Anonymous said...

I need to go check out that projection!

Raquel R. said...

Your POV made me think of how fluid life is and how adaptable we are. Lovely!

Nicole said...

I have always liked that you write about growing up. Have you read the graphic novel "At a Crossroads: Between a Rock and My Parents' Place" by Kate T. Williamson? I plan on reading it soon because I am also in my twenties and living at home, like the author. Also, as a side note, I really like this series that you have put together.

girlseeksplace said...

I'm 30 and I definitely feel old. My high school and college friends are having babies like it's their job. I don't even want kids and I'm still single, and it can be so frustrating to feel like I'm the only one in that boat.

Shoko said...

Eileen, that's wonderful! And very inspiring :)

Angela, thank you - I am! And the best part is, I really have no desire to be living the life I thought I'd be living at this point - yet, anyway. I've got so much to do and experience before then!

Nicole, I haven't. I'd love to check it out, though - thank you for the rec! (And thanks also for the kind words - I'm so happy to hear you like it!)

Brianna, you're doing so many wonderful and creative things - you should be very proud. In many ways, I think, you're ahead of the game.

Joy said...

Age is just a number. I thought the world would end when I turned 30 - but I actually feel just the same as I did when I was 27, except i'm a bit smarter and I have a nicer man on my arm!
Keep writing!! x

Anonymous said...

I just happened upon your blog and have enjoyed reading your stories. As someone who is not in my twenties anymore its interesting to look at someone who is and know that no matter when you were born we all feel and go through the same things. Now, i am that women in Williamsburg with a child cruising the streets pushing a stroller when once i was that women riding my bike down streets a little tipsy smelling the summer air basking in my neighborhood and all its treasures and mysteries. What is interesting now is looking at these streets and people while hanging with my kid thinking WOW what are you taking in from all of this and trying to see it through someone's eyes that is even younger then i remember being. There is magic and mystery at every age if you look for it.

Shoko said...

Joy, that's very good to hear :)

Anon, thank you so much! I love that you say there's magic and mystery at every age - I agree, and that's so exciting.

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