23

“A lot can happen in 23 minutes.”

-Barney Stinson

That number is odd.  Yes, in the actual sense, it is an odd number, but it is an odd number.  It’s not necessarily lucky, and it’s not necessarily unlucky.  It’s just a number, a double-digit, made up of two prime numbers.  I used to think that 13 was my number, but it’s not.  Shooting for the stars is what it’s about, and a number 10 digits higher is where it’s at, but 23 is not my favorite number.

I like single-digit odd numbers.

The of course represents duality, parallels.  Light and dark.  Tall and short.  Good and evil.  The 3 has major significance in religions–all religions mind you (things makes you say hmmm and duuuuh)–and sports.  According to Schoolhouse Rock! this number is the magic number.  There are essentially three parts to literature, and Link’s necessary Triforce to defeat the evil Ganon.  Yes, Link and Zelda are my favorite couple in all of video game history.  Mario and Peach… eh.  Luigi and Peach I can see, because of height difference.

In the literary and actual sense, it’s a powerhouse number when you consider the two numbers that make this double-digit a powerhouse.

But 23.  What does that number mean to you?  What were you doing at 23?

I was graduating from SUNY Oneonta with my Bachelor’s Degree in English.  Upon turning 23, I was a couple months into a job at a nursing home, working in the finance department.  I was working part time at the M.O.S.T., which is Syracuse’s hands-on family science museum and at a bottle and can return on Teall Avenue.  These three jobs required me to work every day of the week.  Even after leaving Teall Avenue in 2007, the museum picked me up for both days.  Money was saved, and traveling abroad to four separate countries for the next consecutive years would happen.  Some congratulate me while others said that my money was blown/wasted because my time wasn’t utilized–in their opinions–efficiently in the sense of my not earning a Master’s Degree (in other words).

Frankly, in my opinion, a piece of paper does not fully illustrate or define experience.  Sure, it adds to you as a person, but you receive it as a result studying, requirements, and honing in on the skills of what your degree is worth.  Some majors are more hands-on than others, and–in my opinion–hands on is pretty important.  A kid, who is younger than me, once told me at a literature conference that a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts should be acquired.  The question in response asked him to elaborate as to why, but he  responded with saying that it would do me good.  It could make me that much more of a starving artist, but I would like a career.

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.”

– Mark Twain

What if I continued pursuing education?  It has not been written out yet.

The value of an M.F.A. can be seen but not rationalized.  What will I pursue?  Right now, the path that I am looking into deals with marketing/social media/SEO.  SEO is constantly changing, and majoring in such a topic would essentially dig myself a deeper hole.  Sure, it would give more insight, but it’s as unpredictable as the weather.  Communications would be up my alley, but it’s still a vague major that could branch out to various jobs that have particular bosses who could tell me that my strength in one aspect is not quite up to par.

What if I continued pursuing education?  What if I did get my education degree?

I’d be working for a system that–in my opinion–is steadily going downhill.  Teachers are unappreciated and underpaid, while pro athletes–many of which probably have not received the best education–piss and moan if their millions-of-dollars contract isn’t upped or reconsidered.   In New York State, who really knows what the other states are like, because state and country (as a whole) politics is what I follow.  Children are human beings–not numbers, not statistics–who want their minds shaped as resistant as some of them may be.

On top of it all the government–oh, you know what party–wants to push education for illegal immigrants.  I can say yes if they want to become a citizen.  However…  What about the poor United States citizens unable to afford education for their children?  What about those people/children regardless of race, age, religion, and many other social categories who want that education but cannot have it?  Free isn’t as good as it sounds considering our spending is a shit show.

Yet, I digress.  Education is important to me.

“You’ll sit alone forever
If you wait for the right time
What are you hoping for?
I’m here, I’m now, I’m ready
Holding on tight

– Jimmy Eat World “23” off of Futures (2004)

At 23, I was a jackass.  The path to being a star jackass takes little to no effort, and subconsciously know you’re doing so.  That was the first March after graduating and taking the world by ignorant storm.  It started off with being reprimanded a couple months later by police, who tsk-tsked me after catching me behind a dumpster at 2 a.m.  As filthy as the backside of a dumpster is, it’s still a not a urinal.   Of course, this is completely comedic and a distinguished definition of just my luck.

Females at this point–many of them (no, not all)–exploded with femininity and maturity.  They were ready to take the world and get shit going with their lives.  Me, in similar fashion to my early-20’s masculine comrades, were ready to get shit on in our lives.  I consider myself lucky for having that conscience that I didn’t let my life get out of control.  I had many jobs, and worked my life away, every day, for the following three to four years.  I still had that cocky swagger that was completely unjustified.  This is especially true since I was a coward.

My relationship life was a shit show.  I never cheated on girlfriends, but I dated constantly here-and-there having copious short-lived relationships that would fall apart after a month or so. I’d fill up my schedule with first dates, and because of my inability to multitask and overall jackassness, the relationships did not last.  

Why did the relationships fizzle out so quickly?  Poor communication and inconsiderate selfish attitude.

Yes, De Niro!  You win!

Yes, De Niro! I AM! You win! (Please don’t hurt me…)

And this brings up the wish that I had some kind of guide that would magically appear and remind me of my poor decision making.

poorly

Exactly.  Some days I wish my flesh did melt off.  But my digging my own grave was a product of actually not listening to my gut.  Proving Convincing myself that I should take a roll of a certain personality was a dumb move.  This was an age where I didn’t fully get sarcastic, dry humor as boasted.

My goal–you should never put a goal on this because life does not pan out the way we all would like–was to be married by 27 and have kids by 30.  At the beginning of college, those goals were at earlier ages.  My mother and father still make jokes about me having to have probably dated all of Syracuse.  That statement is a hyperbole, I assure you.

So this all worked out well for me.  Ha.  Oh, 31?  Yes!  I see you.  I’ll be right over, and save a seat for me.

stupid

And here we are almost eight years later.  Life educated and thankfully wiser.  Everything is falling into place despite how crazy and depressing this story line can get.  A girl I went to college with, Lindsay, posted an article about 30 things that we’re going to unexpectedly learn in our 30’s.  They’re all true.  Even if some of these points have not happened yet, they can be understood and accepted before they happen.  Sure, this is some article that I would personally never seek out, but it came up on the Facebook feed, and I was sitting in bed.  I took some time out to read it.

Younger friends are posting similar articles, but about being in the 20’s.  I’ve stopped reading those generalizations.  I’m sooooo over my 20’s.  Ha!  It’s the truth though.   I wish I could travel back in time and slap myself and have the story to carry along with me that my future self slapped my younger self.

Another article was read about things women should not apologize for, but I cannot remember the person who posted.  I apologize. I agree with that article, and this added to a productive morning.  

Let’s circle back around to numbers.  The girl I took on two dates last month is the same age as this post, and at this point I’m not sure about her.  We only see each other in passing.  We talk, hug, and make magnificent eye contact.  Our age, which didn’t seem drastic or important, is now appearing to show significant differences and that we’re not on the same page of life.  She’s a beautiful girl with a great personality–I know this has been said before–and a head on her shoulders.

It’s a bummer, however.  Life goes on.  

[Cue the funk:  illustrate it by staring blankly at the computer screen.]

There is more to this post, but it can be carried over.  Talk to you next time.

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