Earlier this month, I sat in the Shaftesbury offices in downtown Toronto. They are the production company that is distributing my web series, Long Story, Short. During the polar vortex, we were having a meeting to discuss the future of the show. I didn't take off my parka.
"Have you thought about Season Two? What do you want to write about?"
They were two simple questions with one complicated answer. Season One was essentially a transcript of my life during The Summer I Lost My Mind, when I was 20. I wanted to make Season Two equally as autobiographical but I knew I couldn't. Now, the series had a life greater than just being my experiment. We suddenly had a sponsor and broadcast interest. There were parameters. Was what I wanted to write about going to fit in them?
"I want to write about what's actually happening with people my age."
"And what's that?"
"Coke. Tinder. Bad relationships. Good relationships. Molly. Not being able to get a job. 25 being one thing for one person and something completely different for another."
Everyone nodded. One person asked me what Molly was. (MDMA, a form of ecstasy often discussed in rap songs.)
"Maybe you could talk about drugs in a subtle way," suggested someone at the end of the table. I wanted to say that I hadn't found drugs subtle.
A publicist at Shaftesbury nodded and I could tell she was mulling something over.
"What if I pitch Huffington Post? What if you write a series of articles for them called "What's Actually Happening With People My Age?""
I knew this was something I wanted to do. I can't say I am any authority on what's happening to people my age. But, I am an authority on what's happening in my life, and after this past year for the first time ever, I feel my age.
I turned 25 almost a year ago. I celebrated in Palm Springs with the man I thought I was going to marry. I remember the hot summer nighttime air, thinking how different California was from Canada, how lucky I felt to have found him. As I write this, we are not together anymore.
Like a lot of things that happened this year, I feel like I should've seen the writing on the wall sooner. Looking back, there are always signs. They get heavy with the atmosphere of knowledge; they slip away and slide before you, teasing. They whisper, outlined with permanent marker, "You knew I was here all along." I am now resigned to the fact that the strangeness, beauty and tragedy of the world is that you both never know a thing and have always known everything. All along.
The past three months without my ex-boyfriend have been the most thoughtful of my life. At first I felt all the thinking was for the worse. Now, I feel it's for the better. I have spent a lot of time talking to my girlfriends, men that are friends, men that aren't friends, and my family. I talked about love and commitment, careers, being a grown up and still feeling like a kid.
I have life less figured out less than ever before but I have come to one resounding conclusion: there is more commonality than difference in the experiences my friends are having. Maybe I'm not an expert, but I have a desire to talk about what's happening to people my age.
As the meeting ticked on, I thought about how I've aged what feels like a thousand years since The Summer I Lost My Mind. Getting drunk and sleeping with someone who never calls you back is not something I relate to anymore. Longing for your first love is no longer a feeling I can remember having.
I guess it's true that time is the longest distance between two places. Watching all my friends' "baiii 2013" "2013 can suck it" Facebook statuses crowd my New Years Eve mini-feed, I don't think I was alone in experiencing a lot of change this year. I've had a wealth of experiences. For some reason, I want to talk about them. I am constantly stuck feeling relieved by all the change, but it's the weird relief. The kind you get after narrowly avoiding sleeping with someone you really didn't want to, or when you get back from a trip with someone you wish you'd never seen on the road. It's the melancholy feeling of being disappointed by the wackiness of the world.
I am always convinced I don't contribute to it, which is as lonely as it is comforting.
So, this is the introduction to a series of articles written by me, called "What's Actually Happening with People My Age." I'm doing this for me; I'm trying to come to terms with being my age and the decisions I've made. I like to arrange things, draw conclusions, give them an introduction. I like taking pieces of my life and structuring them on pages, taking people and make them permanent, putting them in black and white type. I want to freeze this moment in my life, being 25, before I lose it to the overwriting power of getting older, people coming and going, time ticking forward and things changing forever.
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