I used to (well…still do) spend a lot of time worrying about where I was on the sliding scale of adulthood – school, job, money, love, ability to host a party that people want to go to – hoping to make it to where I’m supposed to be, as soon as I’m supposed to be there, hand-in-hand with my friends, wearing something gorgeous and timeless and reasonably priced.
I spent the first half of the night before my twenty-fourth birthday getting lost on the way to see a band play. I got more lost than I’ve ever been, which is saying a lot for someone who really struggles with the concepts of space and direction and wonders how streets were ever constructed in the first place. I’ve gotten so used to being cold that I didn’t even notice that my toes and fingers were frozen to the bone until twenty minutes after I finally made it inside. I’m on foot, without a map, my phone has one bar of battery left, it’s snowing. I’m wandering aimlessly in a city where I don’t speak the language, profoundly clueless about the neighborhood I’m in, about to turn an age that I had always considered fully grown-up and far away from reality. I thought I was going to miss the show. I thought I might get kidnapped. I thought I was going to have to find a place to pee outside.
I thought about how none of this was how I’d imagined turning twenty-four. I thought I’d be a lot closer to my old idea of grown up – on track and settled. Then I realized how happy I was in that moment. How happy I was that I quit my job in November and am living out a worthwhile gap in my resume. How happy I am to be making a lot less money than I used to and seeing things I never would have seen if I hadn’t taken a huge chance. How I feel righted and joyful and a lot more centered than I was a few months ago. How abundantly lucky I am to be here, getting lost.
I made it just in time.