My twenties. I learned some things. One thing I learned for sure: for every minute counting backwards from today, I was a bigger idiot in exact degree to the distance from right this instant. That insight informs most of what I learned from my being twenty-something. (You’ll note that this means that when I’m forty, I’ll look back at my thirty year old self and consider him ten years more of an idiot than my then-present self).
When I turned twenty, it was about two weeks after September 11th. I was living in a tiny “two” “bedroom” apartment in the Tri-Taylor neighborhood, doing a mediocre job of wrapping up my philosophy major so I could do a mediocre job of finishing up my History and English majors. I was weeks away from starting my first blog, Pretty Howtown (named after my favorite poem). I was angry all the time. I was mean-spirited and took a lot of things for granted. At the same time, I was fairly certain that I was smarter than everybody else, particularly insofar as I was sure that I could do anything I ever wanted and nothing bad would happen to me.
My twenties, more so than my teens, were a decade full of brutalizing disappointments and failures, almost all of them self-made. The first place my mind goes when thinking back over the last ten years is to the women I was with over those ten years. Viewing my twenties through that lens, one things becomes very obvious: I was insanely lucky.
To All The Women I’ve Loved Before
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