There’s something strange about being married. Slip on a suit, slide on a ring, say your I dos and in a moment, no matter your age, something happens. The person you were vanishes and someone else takes your place: someone older, someone more responsible, more put-together and fit to make life decisions, more apt to host parties with wines and flavorless crackers in lieu of ones held with beers, pizzas, and Cards Against Humanity, late into the night on some randomly chosen Wednesday. Nothing changes save for the perception, both in the eyes of others and in the eyes of yourself. You feel older, you seem older, even if you wish that weren’t the case.
I like to joke a lot about how old I am though.
I joke a lot about how old I am–I don’t particularly like doing it. The reason I’ve always done it, the reason I do it even more now that I am married is because a lot of the people I find that I surround myself with are younger than I am. My wife is three years younger, the job that I worked up until recently maintains an age range that dropped a few years the minute I left, and for someone that perpetually sees himself a child, not in adherence to responsibilities, but in spirit, in the way he thinks, in the way he handles creating, it’s a tough thing to get a good handle on.
Now, for the record, I am 24, I’ll be 25 in January–I am by no means in need of a pair of pants with a nipple-high waistband (yet), but I can’t help feeling older than I am. A lot has changed in the two years since having graduated college, in the one year since I started this blog. I don’t work in a coffee shop anymore, I’m married, I’m a day away from taking an exam to determine if I am qualified to become licensed to assist people in the sale and purchase of Real Estate, and, to make matters even more agedly complicated, I managed somehow to throw my back out lifting what was maybe 10 pounds of art books a little over a week ago.
The twenty something age range is strange for that reason, because it is the first age I’ve ever experienced where I feel older than I actually am, where so much can change over the course of one year and the question everyone always asked, every birthday, growing up: “Do you feel older?” actually begins to make sense. I don’t imagine it keeps on like this. Married life, the parent life simply becomes life, I’d imagine, and one year to the next reminds you of growing up: little change, little is new, only slight variations and sudden realizations when you take the time to look back on where you’ve come from. But this age, your twenties, your early thirties, is a stage of wild imbalance sandwiched between stability. Nothing makes sense, your true age eludes you, and your “career” as a concept is fluid, like the many cups of coffee you drink to live.
Being married helps because there’s someone else being old with you, but I swear it’s still confusing. I turn 25 soon and my hope truly is that this growing up thing starts to make more sense.