I looked in the mirror this morning, and told myself, "You're going to be 24 soon." A face blinked back, scruffy and sleepy, not seeming to grasp this simple concept. I repeated it again. "You're going to be 24 soon. Mid-twenties." The face got wide-eyed, as if to say, "But! I was just 21 yesterday, and 18 the day before that." I shrugged, then looked myself up and down, noting physical improvements I wanted to make; toning here, muscle there. I'm faced constantly with the feeling that I haven't really grown up, never have, never will - I think a part of me believes if I shape myself into more of an "adult" body the status might follow, as if the ability to do a hundred chinups with a single arm is intimately tied to maturity and responsibility. My only consolation is that I'm not alone in wondering when I'm supposed to feel "ready" for the world:
There is no such thing, the older you get the more you find out everyone is just faking it.Oh, how I hope that's true; even though it would mean I can't shake the feeling, it would hurt less to be in some good company.
I was accepted to CSUCI for the spring semester; hardly a surprise, not because of my own scholastic achievements but because pretty much anyone in this county can attend provided they possess a signature. I won't be accepting congratulations for beginning something I should have finished years ago, either - when I get my Master's, then maybe we can have a little shindig.
I didn't cry when Obama won. I didn't riot, or holler out the window. It's hard to get worked up about something you've been predicting for months, regardless of how much you want it to happen. He wasn't my first choice, which does take away some of the excitement, but I do believe him to be the best one for this stage of the game. My main concern is that we're too far into the rabbit hole for any one man, any one term, to see us through it. The most we can hope for is 4 years of slowly undoing damage, righting wrongs, and building a climate of change for the next candidate (or maybe the same one, who knows) to actually take us in the right direction.
Of course, the main reason I was not as buoyed by the election was that in the very same night, the world darkened considerably. I've always been proud to be a Californian, and I identify personally with that designation - a foolish decision, perhaps, considering we host rural and fundamentalist populations equal in their ignorance and intolerance to any backwater glade in the South or Midwest. It was these examples of medieval thinking that asserted themselves on November 4th, relegating our gay friends and neighbors to second-class citizens. I'm especially perplexed by the large bloc of African-American voters who, while achieving an historic victory, nevertheless shamed themselves by pushing another minority to the back of the bus. It's not just them, either - the various churches that urged their parishes to "do the right thing," the people who voted for change with one pen stroke and senseless discrimination with the next - the whole thing sends me into a vitriolic spiral of rage and depression, and I won't be speaking any more about it.
I'm starting to take a little more control of my financial situation - I'd like to claim it as a sign of maturity, but budgeting to the penny is really the only way I can afford to provide Christmas gifts as well as eat and drive. I'm hoping it's a trend I can continue into the new year, hopefully dragging my endebted ass kicking and screaming all the way to a half-decent credit score.
I feel like I have more to write. But the urge has passed and I should probably get back to work.