Saturday, July 7, 2012

Angela? It's Rayanne. Put Ricky on the phone.

A few months ago, I wrote some semblance of a treatise on what it was
like for me to turn 30.  For what it was worth, I produced an
extrememely emotional and sickeningly twee version of what really
happened.  It was all smoke and mirrors ya'll.  I'd been inspired
artisically before I wrote it, by a documentary about Keith Haring
entitled "The Universe of Keith Haring," Woody Allen's Midnight in
, Albert Camus' The Stranger, And Patti Smith's book Just Kids.
It sounds great, and I was able to access some of my unhappiness, and
the unsettling nature of what it is to turn 30.  The real story was
that I wanted to spend my birthday alone crying in my room listening
to Joni Mitchell's Blue on a loop.  I wanted to squeeze my cat and cry
about everything I forgot to cry about when I was in my 20s.  Oh no, I
was not "mourning the death of my 20s," although that seems much more
dramatic and just my style.  I have nothing that happened in my 20s to
mourn.  I suppose I was mourning the fact that I thought I was or
would have been smarter about my choices.  I thought I knew who I
wanted to be by now, and I thought that by the time I was 30 things
would have been much different.  Of course, we never turn out the way
we thought we would, and that is more than fine.  I would rather spend
a lifetime enjoying each new moment and adventure as a new experience
I can learn something from, or meet some interesting stranger, than be
bored with the life I forced myself to live because it is what I think
I wanted.

When I was 16, 30 was a million years away, and I couldn't have given
less of a fuck about what it was going to be like.  I was too busy
imagining what it would have been like to be with Jack Kerouac ( I
think when I was a teenager, I had a VERY different idea of what
"being with someone" meant, and that is to say, I never thought about
having sex with someone, only the fact that when I was 16, all I
wanted to was to get away from where I was and become someone else).
I imagined that I would be living in San Francisco, preferably above
City Lights bookstore, although I know I said I would want to live
above a Starbucks( 16 year old brand whore!).  I didn't have a clear
career in mind, but I knew I wanted to be some kind of artist.  Either
a writer, actress, painter, photographer, or most likely a combination
of all of those things.  I would have a fabulous apartment, with a
turret that faced out onto the street.  I would live in North Beach, I
would probably have some excruciatingly handsome artist boyfriend
person,  and then I would be living my dream.  Instead I went to
college for a hundred things before I decided that yes, I am an
artist, and I want to live in Chicago and be an artist.  Which I did,
and here we are.

 I hated this birthday more than anything I have ever hated in my
life, and I didn't hate it because I think I am old.  I don't think I
am old.  I don't feel old, and feeling old is totally relative.  Your
age is seriously just a number, and really, what the fuck is a number
anyway?  What is age?  What happens when you die?  Is there a God?
what is God?  Who invented language?  Is Santa Claus real?  Seriously.
 Stop worrying about it because ultimately none of it matters.  Every
year you get older, numbers ascend towards something, and whatever
that something is, is all you buddy.  Turning 30 was horrible because
I just felt like I would have had so many more random things done by
now.  For example, I would be famous for being a fashionable "It"
girl, or an amazing documentary photographer.   I would be an
intellectual lecturing all over the world about Francis Bacon, or I
would be winning an Oscar for some sweet gorey makeup or something.
Never did I think that I would be sad because I was alone.  I love
being alone.  I love doing everything alone, and most things I would
prefer to do alone.  However, 30 is closer to 40 which is closer to
spinster which is closer to dead( Married is not a thing I aspire to
be, but seeking companionship is something I do desire.  Seeking a
friend for the end of the world indeed).  I didn't ever think that I
wanted anything from anyone, but what I found was I wanted everything
from everyone, and that all of the flakey ass drunk idiots I called my
friends when I was 20, were nowhere to be found.   I never thought
that I would want to puke back every drink I had ever because my
parents got me books on how to make "gourmet jello shots."  Basically,
turning 30 made me feel like an epic loser, which, of course I am not,
but you see where this is going.    Epic turnaround.

Turning 30 has made me feel like a failure and a fucking genius.  I'm
not in my 20s anymore.  Praise.  I am now in an elite club of people
who are also not in their 20s.  We're better, faster, stronger, we
remember history better, we remember life without the internet, we
remember taping songs off of the radio onto a cassette tape, we
remember fanny packs and Reagan.  We pioneered looks in the 90s that
American Apparel wishes they could replicate, and our generation
produced more bizarro children's programming than Sid And Marty Croft
could have ever dreamt of.  We realize that all the idiots we were
once "friends" with are still selfish idiots and the fact that they
look at us and can only talk about shit we did when we were drunk 8
years ago is because we were never really friends.  Our friends have
been with us forever, and will be with us forever.  They are the good
ones from high school, college, and our formative years when we moved
to Chicago when we were 20, and didn't know our asses from our elbows.
 We can FINALLY talk about how we don't understand things the "kids
these days" are doing( 4Chan.  SrslypplWTF?)

In my previous entry, I romanticized the passing of time, the ticking
of clocks, the Stranger, indifference to time and life and people.  I
wanted to make it cute and avant garde for you.  I wanted to put on a
cute dress, red lipstick, black pumps, and pretend we were in some
hazy French student film, all vaseline on the lens and 16mm.  I wanted
to dress it up to make it less serious.  I wanted you to feel
something fuzzy and warm with me, and I wanted you to fall in love
with me, but what I really wanted was to tell you that I was real real
sad for my entire birthday month because time is passing, and clocks
are ticking out of control, and I didn't know what to do.  I wanted to
cover my turning 30 with glossy metaphors and close up magic.

Somewhere between feeling like some sad sewer asshole, and now, I
realized, fuck it man.  Aging is all part of the process and some
things are made for certain times, and then you graduate.  I read the
Stranger because I don't want to be bored like Mersault.  I want to
live and live and live for everything.  I live and die for modern and
contemporary art because it bleeds like I do.  Your 20s are to Jackson
Pollack what your 30s are to Donald Judd.  Pared down, perfect slices
of your modern life.  You are still a person.  You just don't need all
the ejaculatory paint splatter every which way.  You know who you are
now, and it is much simpler to explain.

My motto from now until the end of all of my time here is, in the
words of a very early Youtube viral video goddess Kelly, "I'm gonna
get what I want!"  Why?  Because I'm 30, and I can.

Viva our 30s.


1 comment:

  1. "I love being alone. I love doing everything alone, and most things I would prefer to do alone. However, 30 is closer to 40 which is closer to spinster which is closer to dead( Married is not a thing I aspire to be, but seeking companionship is something I do desire. Seeking a friend for the end of the world indeed). "
    HAHA... ohhhh, so true.

    As for not understanding kids these days, I have really felt that a lot with my job. When I first started working with teenagers, I wasn't all that much older than they were. I can still relate to the kids I work with now in the sense that being a teenager always kind of sucks, no matter the generation... but I don't understand the weird shit they listen to and watch on t.v. and I don't understand texting as a primary form of communication. Also, I realized that my 7th graders are young enough that I could biologically be their mother.

    But it's okay. Being in my thirties (my thirties!) is sure as hell better than being a teen. The adventure of life just gets better and better. In the immortal words of Belinda Carlisle:

    "In this world we're just beginning
    To understand the miracle of living
    Baby, I was afraid before
    I'm not afraid, anymore."