Every question, every answer

Not a high school photo of me

Not a high school photo of me

The characters on Gossip Girl graduated from high school in the season finale. Judge all you want, but I like me some consumerist porn by way of the CW. Beginning with the “Donna Martin graduates!” period of 90210, televisual commencements always bring out best and worst memories of your own.

But for a few reasons, the GG example of this tradition has brought up some very sobering realities. My youngest sister will be a senior in high school next year. That same year, I will celebrate my 30th birthday. And for the rest of my days, I will watch both imaginary and real people collect diplomas from made-up and actual schools, and with each year that passes, these individuals both fake and true will start to look younger and increasingly foreign to me as my recollections of that time of my life become more and more suspect as age dilutes my oldest memories. Yes, I’ll take my coffee nostalgia-flavored with some half and half, thanks.

But as a speaker once revealed to the graduating class of 1999, advice is a form of nostalgia and dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth. But rather than hound you with my own nostalgic inklings like a telemarketer, I’ll share the one thing that seems to get more and more real as the years roll on, one that the recapper of Gossip Girl very eloquently spelled out. After all the commencements, first apartments, first houses, marriages, children, divorces, and stretches of total banality have occurred, the most important piece of the puzzle will always be this: The only one in charge of your decisions, for better and for worse, is you. If there is only a single truth that will shake you awake at night and make it impossible for you to go back to sleep, it will be that. It is also the most liberating thing you will ever need to know.

You see, beneath all these layers of quick wit and youthful looks, I rarely worry that I did something wrong. I can’t waste time on worrying because I know I have. I have zero published novels, nary a master’s degree, not a wedding or a birth on my record, nor a piece of property to my name. I only half-own my computer, for goodness’ sake. I see people my age, sometimes years younger, who have at least two things on that list. And it would be easy to flop back onto the couch, take another swig, and hope that someday this will all make more sense and I will be able to make all the parts work better. Like when I’m older, when I get my act together. But then something jogs my memory and I get a chuckle out of the bottomless mimosas drank the other night and the late-night bike ride the next night and all the great songs I’ve heard in the last week alone and all the people who were nice enough to talk about them with me. And the couch, in despair, starts to be an uncomfortable place to hide. There is no other adulthood but the one I’m in now. There is no other place to be, unless I happen to spot another one I like and clear a path. And often, maybe eight out of ten trials, I find that I really like my act.

Or maybe it’s something about the season. I got a lot of sun over the weekend. It might all be wrong tomorrow.

  • Baz Luhrmann (voiced by Lee Perry and sung by Quindon Tarver) ~ Something for Everybody ~ EMI

Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

  • Shiny Toy Guns ~ Season of Poison ~ Universal Motown

Season of Love


0 Responses to “Every question, every answer”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: