In LA this Christmas, during the many hours of driving that occurred in the span of fourteen days, I realized that I had no idea who I was hearing on the car radio. I also hated everything I was hearing on the car radio. That’s exactly how an old person would feel, I thought. To be sure, I consulted a friend. “Do you think that the fact that I hate KIIS FM says something about me, or does it say something about the state of pop music?”
I crossed my fingers for the latter.
“It’s you,” she said.
At twenty-eight, my friends and I are coming to the uncomfortable realization that there's a generation of adults in our city who are younger than we are. We’re no longer fresh out of college. And we’re no longer new to New York City, which is, mercifully, full of people our age who are just as unsure, and just as broke, and just as un-grown-up as we are.
Still, we’re at a strange point, where it’s okay to not know what we want or where we’re headed, but where this uncertainty seems to carry consequences that it once didn’t: that we’ll never save enough to retire, that we’ll have roommates forever, that we’ll casually date until we’re forty and never settle.
“We’ll be twenty-nine this year, and thirty next year,” Lily said the other day, after which I very nearly vomited. “Does this mean we have to start being serious about things?”
As the youngest in my family and the youngest among most of my friends, I’ve always been comfortable being the baby. But I’m no longer the youngest in my community - which is known for its unending influx of fresh faces. And to add insult to injury, time only seems to pass more and more quickly as days and weeks and months and seasons come, go, and come again.
Last year, on the last day of summer, I jumped over the sandbags lining the boardwalk at Rockaway Beach and stood with my feet in the ocean, watching them disappear beneath gentle waves. Everything was gray, lukewarm.