The other night, I took my dog for her nightly stroll. We usually go for a longer walk right around sunset – we’re both glad to stretch our legs, often after being cooped up all day, and I’m glad for an excuse to be out during the golden hour.
I live in a college town – an eclectic, dynamic community born of the collision of academia and hormones – along a historic street parallel to “the main drag” and about half a mile from campus.
It was a Thursday, which is the weekend as far as undergrad students are concerned. Thus, on my right: bass thumps from a huge antebellum-mansion-turned-fraternity-house; baby-faced boys throw football with one hand while clutching a can with the other; a jogger whizzes past me. On my left: two elementary-aged brothers roughhouse in their front yard; inside, an older sibling is sitting at a sunroom table working on homework and a mother is visible flitting about the kitchen. Dad pulls into the driveway and emerges with a loosened tie, much to the delight of the little rascals in the front yard.
And there I was. Here I am. Right smack dab in the middle. A far cry from seeking self-discovery in a plastic cup of cheap beer, but nowhere near planning my week around soccer practice and dance lessons.
I was just so struck by the realization that, immediately adjacent to each other, I could literally (creepily) watch either scene play out. What’s more, a very real part of me yearns to join each of them.
Isn’t that what twentysomething-dom is? It’s walking your dog along a brick sidewalk at dusk, an arms-length away from both serene domesticity and carefree adolescence. It’s observing both and having neither, for better (freedom! flexibility!) or worse (lonely! listless!).
That’s just where I’m at, y’all. I can’t decide how I feel about it.