Life as I Know It · My Writing

A Brief History of My Twenties

So, I promised the recollection of my 20s next month, when I was done with school for two weeks. Well, I got bored one night a few days back, and wrote them. I am sure I have left things out, but I think I summed things up properly. Maybe in August I will write something about when I was 22 and 23, since that was an interesting time. I find my most vivid memories are those before I met Scott and after he had entered my life.

My twenties have been a whirlwind. There are still some mornings when I think I have just turned twenty-one, and that thirty seems like a lifetime away. And then, I remember that it was seven years ago that I met Scott for the first time, and it all floods back to me. Some years are fuzzier than others, but hopefully I paint a somewhat clear picture of my twenties for reference.

When I turned twenty, it was 2003. It had been almost two years since 9/11, and in the last eighteen months, I had discovered that the America I grew up in wasn’t as perfect as I had once imagined it. I had found my voice, which was a controversial one within my family. I openly hated President Bush, and began to feel a strong disconnect with my country of birth, something I still feel ten years later. I was living in a small bedroom in the corner of my house in New Hampshire, unemployed and very lonely. It also seemed as though every grandparent I had was dying left and right. I lost my Grampy in 2001; just six days after 9/11, my paternal grandma at Christmastime in 2002, and my other Grandpa in February 2003. I don’t remember much of 2003 outside of losing my Grandpa.

In 2004, life was much the same as it had been in 2003. I was still unemployed, and waiting for my Grandma to pass away (because there was fifteen month trend she still could work with), which she never did. By the time my birthday rolled around, I wanted my family gone. They went to Niagara Falls for a vacation, which turned out to be a total waste of money and caused a rift with my mom and other family members for that time they were gone. For the first two or three days they were gone, the weather was frightening. We had frequent violent thunderstorms, with heavy rainfall. I was responsible for putting out the trash and taking the cans back into the garage after it had been picked up, which proved to be dangerous, since the collective water from the neighborhood flowed down our driveway, and created a little river that caused me to almost slide down the driveway into the shed. I would sit at the dining room table, listening to Chopin as I wrote a story that I am sure took place someplace in New Hampshire, while the cat silently judged from the end of the table. My nights and daylight hours were spent either walking into town to window shop or watching my British period dramas. On my birthday, I watched Bridget Jones’s Diary, and blew out my candles (which I guess I had, I can’t remember) as Mark Darcy and Daniel Cleaver sang ‘Happy Birthday’ to some kid they didn’t know. This is something I have done every birthday since.

The year I turned twenty-two, I felt like things were changing. That January, I had my wisdom teeth removed, causing me to lose five pounds from lack of eating. And then I caught the stomach flu a month later, which helped me to lose another five to seven pounds. That summer, we went to Cape Cod for the first time. I hadn’t been to a beach since June 2000, right before we moved from San Diego. For a beach baby like me, it was heaven on earth. I immediately ran through the sand to the water, feeling the familiar coolness of ocean water. That vacation was a marvel in itself, because everyone in the family was relaxed. That fall, I went to an interview dressed as if I didn’t care if I got the job. Surprisingly, they wanted me. From my first day, I hated this job. I was counting down the days until it was over. I didn’t think things could keep going in my favor, but then December 2005 happened. In a story I have explained and written a thousand times it seems, I was emailed by Yahoo Personals with some guy who was interested in me. Through some horrible online flirtation before I emailed him, I met Scott. Things with Scott took off quickly, and I found myself going to a place I hadn’t been since high school. By January 2006, we were going to meet in person. I waited in the lobby outside of the Italian restaurant; we met, ate dinner, and had awkward conversation for a few hours. He was my first kiss, and the first guy to truly break my heart. Most of 2006 is a fog. I basically remember getting up every day, going to work, and going to bed. I decided to try living in San Diego again, thinking that leaving Littleton would make me forget Scott. All it did was make me miss home. It finally knocked into me something I had been slowly realizing: that I loved New England. That September, I went out with Christian Guy, and I realized that if I relaxed, a date could be seamless. I also realized that being candid on a “date” can have negative connotations.

In 2007, I went to Cape Cod again for vacation. This was a different experience from the first one, with the family being a little less relaxed and more stir-crazy. Scott moved down to Boston that fall, and we had a phone call while he took his dog to the dog park. It was the first conversation we’d had on the phone since we broke up, and it wasn’t awkward at all. That was until he spoke forcefully to his dog, which turned me on. That moment still makes me smile to this day. I was also feeling disconnected with my job, snapping at everyone I lived with. I knew I needed a change, but I wasn’t about to quit without another job to replace it. I also lost my “baby” that year, when my sister had some mental issues involving a musician, and his parents removed him from our house.

2008 was a year of upheaval. I quit my job at my dad’s urging, my sister decided to “elope”, and my dad decided New Hampshire was stupid. I didn’t immediately regret quitting my job. That took about five days, when I realized I lived in a small town and there wasn’t much out there for me. It was around this time that things were changing with my dad’s job. People were quitting or being fired for the most inane reasons, and he could see the writing on the wall. He also had grown bored of New Hampshire. Where I was finally finding my heart and soul there, he was finished. He began looking in Florida for jobs, and I prayed as I have never prayed in my life that this wouldn’t happen. When I turned twenty-five, I was in love with Twilight. Edward Cullen reminded me of Scott, and reading those books thrust me headfirst back into what I had felt and experienced with him. My family, with the exception of my sister and brother-in-law, went to the Cape for another vacation. My sister decided to watch the baby my mom babysat, with the proviso she did it at the baby’s apartment. My sister developed a stomach “thing,” and babysat at the house the first day. My birthday happened to fall the next day, and I made her babysit at the apartment. To say she was upset is a gross understatement. I spent the day recording myself on my webcam doing various activities so my family felt like they were there with me. Those videos still exist on YouTube. I watched my Bridget Jones moment with a mini lava cake, and I think I had some pizza (this was before my lactose-intolerance became full-blown). My sister and brother-in-law came home a few hours later, and a friend and I were going to watch Penelope in the living room while eating pizza and cake she baked for me. She ended up having some dental work done, and ate macaroni and cheese. She still made me a cake, and we watched the movie together. Despite how the day had turned out, it was fun. That fall, we moved to Oregon. I sat on the stone wall of our house, looking at the hundreds of fallen leaves, feeling the crispness of the air, and knowing my heart belonged amongst this chaos. I stared forlornly out the window of the airport terminal, looking at the Boston skyline, wondering if I would ever see it again. I wrote my November story, which I sent a very rough copy of to Scott, who adored it.

In 2009, we moved across town. My dad was in Las Vegas for a conference, so I made a cheese-infused pasta dish while watching Blue Hawaii. That Christmas, my lactose-intolerance became full-blown, and my stomach decided to betray me to many foods. In 2010, we went to San Diego for vacation. My sister was set to come stay with us while she figured out her marriage after vacation ended, and as each day neared the end of the trip, I became more depressed. On my twenty-seventh birthday, she and her husband had a huge fight over the phone, and that was the end of her marriage. It seems as though my sister has a negative impact on my birthdays. I don’t remember much of 2010, except that my sister had a cyst removed, and lost an ovary because of it.

In 2011, we moved back to California. My parents went out for dinner, since my birthday happened to fall on the exact day of the week I was born (Friday). My baby sister and I partied, since our other sister was at a church thing. I also briefly had a job with Kohl’s, but found their policies were against my own. In 2012, I was pretty sure the world was going to end. I was pretty obsessed with the concept of it. Hitler was going to spring out of the ground, and lead the Zombie Apocalypse. I turned 29 by going to Barnes and Noble with my mom, and hating every single minute of it, despite not being rushed by anyone to look around the store and the mall. Later that year, my dad was told that his job was being phased out, and that he’d have to re-apply for a different job within the same company.

It’s now 2013. The Zombie Apocalypse still hasn’t happened, although a thousand movies on the subject keep coming out. I still find myself quite in love with Eoin Macken, although those feelings have lightened severely in the face of his relationship with his girlfriend. I now live in an apartment with my sometimes-overbearing baby sister and our two cats. I am still looking for a job, hoping for the same luck I had when I was twenty-two. I face another milestone birthday, and I still feel as though I don’t have my shit together. Here I am, thirty-years old, and I don’t have much to show for it except for silver hairs and fine wrinkles on my face. People who meet me on the street or in stores think I am twenty, which is supposed to be a compliment, but I find it insanely aggravating. I don’t know what this decade holds for me, but I hope it’s full of happiness and light.

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