It was the first time I envied youth. She was young: 22. Limber. She climbed over the railing of our balcony and infected us with her laughter. She was so captivating. Simply because she was youthful, joyous, silly. She responded with giggling. She knew she was the epitome of desire, from everyone either wanting her or wanting to be her. Youth is intoxicating that way. She reminded us of a part of our innocence that had long been gone. She told us her plans of running away to… Colorado: a 20 hour road trip with no job, no home and no plan to arrive to. She was leaving tomorrow. We were each 7 beers in and a few shots away from being rational. It was gorgeous. I remembered being 22… With a similar plan as I moved to NYC in the dead of winter. I tried to remember when I lost sight of that girl who never capped her dreams, who instead of asking “why”, continued asking “why not”. Always seeking the possible and answering “yes” to all of her pressing desires when the world had told her no. When did I lose the endless ambition and hunger for life?
… It was when I fell in love. And in bringing someone else into my dream I lost sight of mine… And myself.
Now. I feel tired. Old. Not so limber and not so innocent. Bitter. Demotivated. I simply applauded her. I didn’t want to warn her that the biggest thing she’d have to fear out there was herself. That the world wanted her to succeed but one day she may feel like she didn’t deserve it. Or that she didn’t have the energy to prove it anymore. Maybe she’d never have to learn… Maybe she’s always be her biggest fan.
But for tonight. I simply clinked Coronas and pretended that 3 years wasn’t equivalent to 3 lifetimes… She was newly graduated and newborn.
We’re just happy you’re here… Helping us pretend we’re still young and beautiful. Reckless and carefree.