Sometimes it’s hard to measure your success in life. You know your life is different than it was 5 or 10 years ago, but when you’re still sending out emails to try to get friends out to shows, it’s often hard to feel like you’ve made any real progress.
But 10 + years do go by and even you have to admit that life is different, not just for yourself, but for many of the people you came up with, too. I’m always amazed that people from this part of my life still like me or ever did. I look back on myself then – and the enormous chip on my shoulder – and often wonder how it was I didn’t alienate everyone I came into contact with. But your 20’s are a little like being in a war and when you run into someone from the foxhole, you both have the unspoken agreement that you did what you had to in order to get through it. You are happy to see them as they are part of a select group who know what it was like being holed up in the bunker or coffee shop, the sounds of 1,000 hacks bombing in the background. The combat of your 20’s behind you, you now live more according to the accepted behavior of civilized society, not the least of which is the happiness you are legitimately able to share in your friends’ successes. Gone is the deeply held belief that our chances of success are inversely proportionate to someone else actually achieving it. Instead, you now have an appreciation for how much work goes into it, constantly, still, on a steady basis. You know that anyone who is still here humping it, who didn’t just say fuck it and move to someplace reasonable, deserves your respect and congratulations.
It’s these things I’m mulling over after my friend Retta texted me a photo of her awesome US Weekly spread this morning. Kind enough to give me a plug in her Tory Burch hobo explosion, it makes me grateful that I still know so many people from my enlisted days and that I was able to keep my shit together long enough to engender some good will among my compatriots.