June 1998
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ADVENTURES IN MATURITY

By Gordon Dymowski

Earlier this year, I turned 30. Yep, the big 3-0. People ask me a really dumb question, namely, "How does it feel to be 30?"

To which I usually respond, "How the heck should I know? What does 30 feel like?"

I'm usually amazed at the fact that, well, I often still act like I'm in my 20s, only I'm often not as unconscious, and my personal hygiene is better. Plus, I'm often goofing off with my stepkids - my stepson (actually, soon-to-be stepson) and I often crush each other's heads, thanks to exposing him to the Kids in the Hall. (What's also scary is that both my stepkids love Doctor Who and the Marx Brothers - and I haven't even encouraged or discouraged this). Heck, there are times where I feel I should be back in college, getting drunk and flirting wildly with my female classmates. (My fianc‚ would have a big problem with this, however, so I tend to avoid it....). I even read comic books, fer cryin' out loud. How the heck should I know what 30 feels like, or what being a "grown up" means?

I look at at my friends, and I realize one thing: I am probably a heck of a lot better off than they'll ever be. At my last high school reunion, two thirds of my former classmates were 1) lawyers, 2) balding, and 3) Republicans. I do not see this as a good thing. I've often been informed that I look the same now as I did in high school, to which I reply, "I know - I have this portrait in my house that ages for me. I stay immortal, but right now, my portrait looks like it's going to have a coronary." I chose to get my master's in psychology, rather than do the typical business thing, mostly because I'm interested in counseling but partially because, well, I got a D in Accounting 201. I think God was sending a very powerful message to me. Plus, I think that now, I'm probably "shagging" a heck of a lot more than other people my age. (Of course, I had a lot of sex in my 20s, but my usual partner was Senor Righty....but I digress.). I also still enjoy loud, obnoxious, "let's- crank-the-amps-to-11" rock music - I may listen to the Indigo Girls, but gosh darnit, every once in awhile, I just have to stick on Tim, by the Replacements. [Unabashed personal plug: go out and buy all their albums. Don't get any best-ofs. If you have to limit yourself, get Let It Be and Tim. E-mail me your thanks later. Trust me - you'll be glad you did.]

Anyway, what am I rambling about? (Too much coffee....it's the wind beneath my wings). Anyway, my advice to the young people out there: Yes, you will have to grow up at some point. Get out of college, live elsewhere, do the whole "contributing member of society" thing. However, remember to have fun. Don't worry that, say, you'll "lose" that fire you had in your youth, 'cause you'll always carry it with you. You'll remember it when you're feeling at your lowest, when you're stuck in a nowhere job and are just muddling along. You'll remember it when you feel your most disappointed, and feel like telling the world, "I ain't your darn whippin' boy no more! I've got a major can of whup-ass with your name on it, World! I'm mad as hell, and ain't gonna take it anymore!"

As long as I always keep that fire of my youth in my belly, I know I can deal with growing up.

And baby, right now, 30 feels my-tee-fine......

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