Thursday, November 25, 2004

Just like growing older...

I anticipate post-wedding travel/tiredness/melancholia will preclude me from writing on my actual birthday, so I'll jump the gun a little.

Apparently, my iTunes playlist* indicates me as a "high school student on an undercover assignment to see what it's like working in 'the real world.'" But despite all the now-that-it's-your-birthday-you're-finally-legal-to-drive**jokes, I feel really old. A few examples of why I'm feeling particularly early-bird-special-eligible this year:

1.) A conversation with Avril Lavigne goes something like this:
AL: How old are you? You sound really young.
EQ: I'm 22.
AL: Oh, so you graduated from college?
EQ: Yeah, in June.
AL: Oh, yeah. I'm not going to college. I mean, I've already done everything I want to do, and I'm going to keep focusing on my career.***

2.) "Alexander" comes out today. Alexander the Great had conquered 90% of the civilized world by the time he was 25. I'll give myself a few years grace period, since there's more civilized world nowadays (well, that's questionable, I guess.) But... SHIT! I've got to get going on that whole world domination plan.... or at least start making enough money to shop somewhere besides Target.

3.) An article in "Jane" a few months back focused on young women as the new career threat. And they weren't talking young, as in 23 young. They were talking young as in so-awesome-she-didn't-have-to-go-to-college-and-just-started-her-own-magazine young (that would be namesake Jane herself, who, cocky, self-possessed bitch that she is, is really effin' awesome in general.) The story was so kind as to point out that, at 23, I'm far to old to be the youngest novelist/magazine editor/fashion designer/Pulizer winner/anything. Don't get me wrong; it's not that I need the "youngest-whatever" gimmick to feel successful, but everyone's so focused on phenoms that it's hard to stand out, even when you graduated at the top of an awesome class at an awesome college**** and have a pretty great resume for someone who's spent the past 18 years in school.

Look at it this way: if someone was going to start a magazine and was looking for an editor-in-cheif, would he pick: A.) The 23-year-old who spent four years in journalism school and has had a variety of odd-journalism-related gigs between quarters or B.) The Lindsay Lohan/Olsen Twins/Britney Spears/Jane Pratt of the journalism world who hasn't necessarily done anything over-the-top cool, but who got good word of mouth because she did something marginally cool at age 12? Yeah, it's a tough one. I'd probably pick B, you know, if I ever wanted to give away a magazine job.

Maybe spending the weekend with people who are (gasp!) going to grad school and who won't be out in the full-time workforce until they're 26 will ground me a little. We'll see. 'Til then... I'm going home for Thanksgiving, where I'll eat dinner at 2, make it halfway through a sappy family movie before falling asleep, and then wake up at 5 (no alarm) to hang out with the cat. Just like an old person....

* It's, like, the most totally awesome playlist ever, dudes, so shut it!
** Smart-asses. I've been able to drive forever. Now I'm finally legal to DRINK.
*** ...At which point I think, "Yeah, I should probably think about doing that sometime soon." ... At which point I re-think, "What the fuck do I call driving an hour to Fort Worth to talk on the phone to some 19-year-old punk-ass if not 'focusing on my career?'" ... At which point I re-re-think, "Is this what I want my CAREER to be? Yeesh!"
**** I hardly ever feel like Northwestern was a waste of time I could have spent "focusing on my career." (Key words: hardly ever.)