One thing I realized immediately upon moving to San Francisco is that if you don’t want to grow up here, you don’t have to.
It takes some getting used to. My first month here I went out for drinks with a guy in his early 40s who was a VP at an investment firm but explained to me, “I’m just trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.”
My first instinct was to feel extremely uncomfortable. I listened politely while silently vowing: I am not going to do the San Francisco thing and morph into Peter Pan. (Although it’s not a bad idea for a Bay to Breakers costume….)
But I could only hold out for so long.
After roughly a year out here, I realized San Francisco had won. It was after a very long, very fun night. The next day I was jogging and my mind started wandering back to the details of the previous evening (and morning.) My cheeks started to burn as I thought, “Oh my god, what have I done???”
Then, a more rational thought popped into my head. “I haven’t felt this way this since college. Oh my god, I’m still young enough to regret everything from last night!! This.is.so.much.fun.“
My blushed faded and a smile broke out on my face. I started sprinting, and I haven’t looked back since. All summer, when deciding whether I’m going to do something, I just ask myself, “will this help me prove to myself that I’m not old?’ If so, I do it.
I know what you’re thinking…RB, how can I join you in this never-ending spiral of immaturity?
Good news, kids – Here are:
The Top Ten Ways to Prove You’re Not Old
10. Dress for the Job You Don’t Want. If you’re still wearing the same clothes you wore in
college who’s to stay you’re not allowed to behave like you’re in college?
9. Have a gay best friend who assures you that you can easily pass for 23 or 24. Tune him out when he says he thinks it might have something to do with the way you dress.
8. Go places where only young people go. Since everyone knows that no one
over 25 goes places like that, no one will believe you’re over 25.
7. Start reading Existentialist philosophers again. As you sit with your head in your hands wondering, “what is the purpose of my life?” you will easily forget that you realized about six years ago that the purpose of your life was paying bills and doing laundry.
6. Make sure it always looks like a tornado hit your bedroom. Skype your mom so she can shake her head and say, “couldn’t you at least put your shoes in the closet???”
5. Go out with guys who are younger than you are. Don’t get flustered if your friends refuse to learn their names but refer to them only as “the 25-year-old” or “the recent grad.” No one is judging you – really!
4. Act like you’re important and you know everything. Erase from your mind the years of experience that have taught you what’s really important. Abandon your hard-earned sense of humility because you’re the smartest person ever and are about to conquer the world. Be frustrated. Be irritated that nothing is ever good enough. Want everything – and want it now. Fall into despair when you don’t get it. Complain loudly. Rinse, repeat.
3. Call your grandparents. Compared to them, you’re really young.
2. Refuse to speak to anyone other than your grandparents on the phone. Phone calls are soooo awkward and you reeaaallllly prefer text messages or even Facebook.
1. Constantly talk about how old you are. Your younger friends will be inspired to suggest things like, “what if we just pretend I’m older than you are?” just to get you shut up.
And if all else fails, see if you can get roommates who play bad 80s music on Sunday night, facilitate dance parties in the kitchen, feed you wine and suggest you all watch The Labyrinth. As you are head-banging in sync with your dishwasher and ROTFL at muppets, you’ll no doubt find yourself thinking, “28? Do the numbers even go up that high?”