Your Whole Life: It’s Definitely Not The Climb

I guess you can say I’ve been waiting for the reasons to write this post my whole life.

It’s been over a month since my last post. I know you see this coming, but I’ll irritate you with it anyway because I rather enjoy the sound of eyes rolling: There’s no possible way I could put the impact of this summer into words.

For those of you just tuning in, I spent my summer living in New York as an Editorial Intern at Glamour magazine, with the incredible American Society of Magazine Editors internship program. I stayed in an NYU dorm with 20 other obnoxiously passionate magazine interns. It was my version of band camp, and it was the greatest summer of my life — opportunities, connections and experiences I literally only dreamed about, coming true like urr’day was my burrday. “Life-changing” is a hideously offensive understatement. I’ve spent these past two weeks at home in a transitional daze.

Cindi Leive told me I was a great writer
(& eventually I felt comfortable enough to tell her that I was really a boy that wears dresses).
I discussed pitches over morning omelets with Ann Shoket.
I had waited for this kind of summer my whole life.

Today, as we watched the sunset over Fort Funston, one of my best friends announced a very adult, very life-altering decision. We screamed. We pondered. We freaked the hell out. And one of us said,

“Can you believe this is happening? We talked about what this would be like.
We’ve waited for this moment our whole lives.”

And in 4 hours, I’m boarding an eastbound plane and spending the rest of 2010 studying abroad in Milan, Italy. Tonight, on our last normal free mobile-to-mobile US phone call, my boyfriend John said,

“Are you ready for this? It’s Italy. It’s Milan.
You’ve been wanting this your whole life.”

No one told me at 20, I would be processing the feelings that come your dreams, your desires, your “someday”‘s catching up to you.


And what’ve I come up with so far?
Who's a pensive boy?

How I feel sort of looks like a pug — I’ve always said that pugs look like God took them on a walk one day, the pug was lagging, and God pulled the leash really hard, causing all of its fat and folds to bunch up around its face.
God yanked my leash. And I feel like life is bunching up around my face.

Yup. Puppy similes. That’s where I am.

Am I supposed to feel shock? Like there’s cement in my brain?
Or fear? Is that an ungrateful emotion? Should I be allowed that?
Shouldn’t I be joyfully bounding through a tulip-laden meadow, anxiously awaiting the happy music and ending credits, or at least Tweeting really obnoxiously and self-importantly about it?

Instead, I’m blinking at my two carry-ons and two check-ins, wondering how the hell I got here. How we all got here. How somehow, these past twenty years snowballed into these past four months and suddenly, we’re adults, living the lives we’ve always talked about but then easily changed the subject because the future was that weird, nebulous thing with no friends over there. Now was about waiting and wondering. Now was vaguely anticipatory. Now was “The Climb.”

And now, now is now.


(Concluding clap) And that’s all I’ve got for you tonight.
If I’ve learned something about myself this summer, it’s that I’m much more interested in the analysis than the answer. I will leave people hanging my whole life — in fact, I’m determined to make a career out of it. I mean, clearly, if I had any answers regarding how to deal with how flipping weird it is to grow up, I would be making far more sophisticated metaphors than those connected to dogs and Miley Cyrus.

I gotta get on a plane now, but if you have any answers, please comment.
I’d love to take them with me.

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