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1. Intro.pdf

  1. 1. Venus was visible from my window from Denver to LAX and I was overwhelmed with a sense of good fortune. A blanket of clouds spread out below the plane, an endless glowing orange gauze bespeaking the sprawl of Los Angeles below. We dipped below the clouds and L.A lay in front of us. I saw downtown and felt nostalgic. I lived here for eight years and though I’d never move back, I still get excited whenever I see it‘s skyline. “Los Angeles, give me some of you!” I heard a girl behind me talking to the older couple next to her. She was graduating from college soon and it sounded like she was considering this the last of her youthful, carefree trips; her parents told her to go for it while she can. I thought about what I’d say if I were next to her, that she can keep doing it. I was 34 and had a malfunctioning gut and I was still doing it. You can travel around most of the world without much money, you can meet amazing people everywhere, you can have a great time exploring a city from a hand drawn map. You can travel just because you can, there are planes and if nothing else the sky reaches somewhere new. Don’t surrender these things to growing up. But she sounded kind of obnoxious, like a know it all. She was a business major. Yeah, your youth is almost over. But what about mine? Isn’t mine, too? Is it already? Am I winding up a sad cartoon of who I was? I’ve tried to examine the things that are assumed to be requisite for becoming an adult -- the things you’re supposed to do and the things you’re supposed to give up -- and disregard the parts I disagree with or which don’t make sense to me, hoping that in some oblique way I fumble towards my own definition of adulthood. But am I kidding myself? Am I confusing staying true to my youthful ideals with desperately clinging to my youth? Sure there’s a qualitative difference between buying a convertible and dating someone half your age and sleeping on the couches of strangers in foreign countries and sneaking to the top of railroad bridges to make out, but is the incentive the same? Was this my “Ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille” moment?

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