For the first time in my life, I feel old. I’m not sure why I feel old. For some odd reason, when I’m lying on the couch and staring into the abyss of the ceiling, it dawns on me that I’m going to be twenty-four this year. Two. Four. Why isn’t this bell ringing properly?
Strangers, specifically, seem to know how to scratch a certain itch you’d much rather leave alone. I begin to quiver now when someone goes, “How old are you?” Why does it matter, stranger? Why must you poke at this scabbing skin of mine? Can you just leave me be? I have no amazing follow up answer other than the awkward, “Uh, twenty-three. Yep. I’m twenty-three.” Which is then followed by the equally awkward, “Oh.”
No, I’m not the youngest multimillionaire. No, I have not built a time machine that would allow transport through all ten dimensions of the universe. No, I haven’t single-handedly found a way to stop global warming. I’m sorry to disappoint you.
And as soon as the itch begins to burn, I dab a bit of sweet reassurance on that scab and realize, although the ripples I’ve set off among the universe aren’t quite as significant as others, I have to remember that I’m at least setting off ripples. Isn’t that what I should be striving for? And not those kind of ripples that solely deal with financial stability, security, and lasting love. I’m speaking about those ripples where you approach everyday with kindness, understanding, happiness and awareness. I want my ripples to be more than selfish needs and want. I want my ripples to transpire onto others.
I went to the post office about a week ago. I was on my lunch break and I can become a bit hyperactive when I have a number of things to do in a short time frame. I often tell myself to slow down and that was the exact conversation I had with myself before getting out of my car. As I made my way to the entrance, I saw a lady coming up to the door from my right. I opened the door for her. She thanked me, complimented my funky colored shirt and then proceeded to open the next door for me. The post office is laced with doors, so we continued to play this door opening game on our way into that maze. We stood in line. I insisted she go before me, she declined and we shared a short conversation and laughter as the lady behind the counter was trying her best to help the customer before us. I overheard the rep tell the woman, who seemed to be shipping her entire living room, that she was a newbie. Okay, I’m exaggerating, but those boxes were huge. Well, I finally got my turn and as the rep was entering my shipping information, I noticed that the lady I had let in was holding the door open for incoming customers.
So yeah, I’m not where I want to be in life yet. I’m alone. I’m not married. I have no established or elaborate career. I’m twenty-three and for now, I’m just making ripples. I’m doing my part and will continue to well after my twenty-fourth birthday.