It is an absolutely gorgeous day in south jersey today. On my way home from work, I had the Windows down and the stereo up. Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” came on. Anyone who knows me, know I LOVE Billy Joel. I love Billy Joel for a lot of reasons, but I think the biggest reason is; it brings me back to my teenage years.
On a day like today, we would be on our way to LBI, an island south of all those awful jersey shore people. It is quiet and family friendly. It’s where I spent most of every summer as a kid. As a teenager, we would go down, I would sit on the beach and pretend to watch my friends surf. I wouldn’t actually watch them, I was too busy reading a magazine or just sleeping. Listening to the waves crash against the shore still puts me to sleep today. We talked about our dreams and what amazing lives we were going to have. Life was good. Life was great. Life was simple.
As I was driving home in lunch hour traffic, I remembered the excitement, the feeling of having my whole life ahead of me. There were a few musts for me back then. No kids, ever. I didn’t like them and didn’t want them. I was going to live in New York City. Nyc always fascinated me. Something to do anytime of the day or night, the people, the traffic, the noise. I was going to be someone. I didn’t know who yet, but I was going to make an impact on this world. Which leads right into the next must…no marriage for me. Why would I want to answer to anyone, after having to answer to my parents all of my life?
Oh my, how things have changed. We all grew up, most of us got married, some of us had kids, and I never got that shitty studio apartment in the city. I’m proud of who I’ve become and I’m proud of who my friends grew up to be. The question is, does my 17 year old self, feel the same way? She’s still hiding inside me somewhere. But I think she’s happy for me, for us.