Twenty-three: What’s up with the what’s-up?

Baller at 23

Random Observation/Comment #227: That feeling of labeling my new age really lost its effect two years ago.  21 was just that golden age that changed everything.  In fact, I don’t really remember who I was before I turned 21 – Wasn’t I that large mass constantly reading, writing, and typing furiously at my desk to meet all those professors’ needs? Or was it the token Chinese kid in high school that followed every Asian stereotype? Or maybe it was the chubby soft-spoken, shy, and awkward child?  Whatever happened back there, I’m glad it did because it paved the way for years of enjoyment.

It wasn’t until I turned 21 that I felt life would start kicking ass: Cooper classes only focused on projects that were actually interesting, I actually had some time to myself to start side projects, and I lived in NYC with a license to drink, taste, and party.

When I graduated Cooper, I drifted towards looking for a place called home. I caught the travel bug and took advantage of the American passport rights (this passport is gold).

22 became the series of research projects abroad filled with artificial intelligence, side projects, and so much more free time. I grabbed the bull by its horns and explored the unknown with my handy notebook and series of curious questions.  It was actually that passion that made me keep looking for something (whatever that something was).  I finally enjoyed liberal arts and began this whole “writing, photography, and collecting random things” expedition.

So once I turn 23, what’s different?  What’s the next adventure? Will it just be an arbitrary age? I hear that once you start work, the years just start flying by because the responsibilities keep building up and all you see is the goal you’re working towards – the days just go by to reach the next milestone.  This is possible, but I don’t want to start making it an age bracket or else there’s less revelation; just let me keep thinking each age is a new year with a new spark.   I want to continuously see something with a new light, so I hope this age of 23 will be a growth towards a type of maturity. Whether that maturity involves relationships, money management, work-stresses, or community contribution, I need to improve somewhere – and trust me, I see a lot of room for improvement.

I could see myself initiating a few of these tasks: Stop playing the dating game and Start settling down; Start saving money for bigger plans; Start making more long-term plans; Start adding more people into plans (instead of making selfish ones for the story); Start being more consistent with giving gifts; Start thinking more about long term consequences; Stop reverting to old habits.  I don’t want to think like a 40-year-old before I need to or else I think I’d stop taking risks, but maybe there’s a nice balance to choose which ways of growing up would work best.  If I can see what it means to be an adult, I’ll just take those baby-steps moving forward.

~See Lemons Turn 23