While I fully recognize that each of us has radically different lives, this made me laugh out loud. For those of us who joined the Army in our twenties (my hand is up) what you describe here is so far away from our reality that I nearly fell off my chair. Some of the generalities might work but depending on our gender, our race, our culture, the financial conditions of our lives, what you describe could sound like a pipe dream. This is in no way a criticism, Jessica, but simply an observation. When I was 25, everything competed for my time. My commanding officer, my military duties, American University professors, my troops. It was endless. I had no time for porn, movies, and even on weekends sleeping in was impossible. I often pulled all night duty. Of course since I’m older, Starbucks wasn’t even a pipe dream. I see lots of folks on Medium decrying the loss of their twenties, as though that had been a magical time (mine sucked, having been raped repeatedly at 22 and 23 but I am hardly alone in that regard). I also became seriously anorexic by the time I was 25. In many ways, my twenties SUCKED. Granted, that might have been forty plus years ago, but my bet is that a great many young people have many of the same battles and similar heartaches.
I find that so many of us wish, hope, desperately desire to be grown ups by 30. That everything is better. Well, perhaps. Some things may be. I think each successive decade brings a whole new set of gifts in the form of perspectives, relative knowledge and one hopes, wisdom. For my part as someone in my sixties, and I can only address what I know, I didn’t find genuine freedom or even a modicum of real success until I got my thumb out of my ass in my fifties. By then I’d largely won a lot of the battles I set in motion in my twenties. Again, this does not speak to anyone else but myself. However, I have found that a few more decades under my belt have offered me the beauty of the single thing that I didn’t have in my youth: Humor. Humor that is born of perspective, failure, shit sandwiches, face plants, fuck ups and endless reruns of lessons I sure as shit thought I’d learned by my forties. Nope. Still learning. We always will.
I wouldn’t want my life, my body, or even my unlined twenty-something face back. I didn’t appreciate what I had when I had it. Now I do. That is priceless, and rightly or wrongly, I think those things can only truly come with age, road rash and really, really, REALLY bad sex. But I digress.