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Existential Crisis

Caroline Prendergast



Soon, and by that I mean in the next year, I will be 21.
I am halfway through the first year of my twenties.
I sleep until noon. I can get drunk and wake up the next morning without a hangover. I pick and choose my lovers with impunity, and the world is my oyster.
On the other hand, I have no financial plan, to quote NZUSA, “I owe more than I own”, I live on my own, I chain-smoke, I am overweight, my nan had to adopt my cat when he became obese and developed asthma, and I can’t get my exec reports in on time.
In many ways my life is great, unfortunately it is not going to stay that way. With this lifestyle in ten years I am going to be lonely, an alcoholic, a single mum, in a stone wash mini-skirt and hitting on 20 year olds.
With this in mind (also two bottles of wine) I came up with a list with some friends of mine. A wonderful, magical list of mythical proportions:
‘Things to do before 30’.
1. Obtain property.
2. Finish Tertiary studies.
3. Travel around Europe in Kombi van or a motorcycle.
4. Learn how to fire a gun, ride a horse, and snowboard.
5. Write a book.
6. Achieve a career goal.
7. Fall in love, maybe get married.
8. Have a baby.
9. Invent something useless, and sell it for millions of dollars on the internet.
10. Commit a heinous crime and get away with it.
The twenties are perceived as the best years of our lives, and this list proves that. I want it all, I want to have babies and fire guns, ride horses, and snow board. Between now and my thirtieth birthday I plan on living my life, my whole life. I just cannot imagine life after 30. After 30 life just becomes old, 30 year olds are out of touch with popular music, 35 year olds are out of touch with contemporary fashion and 40 year olds get those little lines in their lips where their lipstick bleeds.
I consider myself a radical feminist, but my list was almost identical to that of my friends. We are women from completely different backgrounds, studying completely different bachelor degrees yet we all want the same things out of our twenties: babies, romance, careers, having enough money to eat something other than baked beans, a little bit of excitement, and some heinous crimes minus the prison time.
But the twenties are not the end, we’ll plateau for a few boring years looking after our babies, growing cellulite, and hacking away at our careers, and then we will turn 40. I am looking forward to being 40 almost as much as partying through my twenties. Let me explain to you why this is so in five easy steps (only five as I think things will take longer when you’re old).
Things to do once turned 40.
1. Leave husband with large divorce settlement.
1.5 Sell swanky apartment to new age yuppies for lots of cash (for me as I will have no hubby or marriage).
2. Get liposuction and sleep with people in their twenties.
3. Buy a shiny pink car that goes fast.
4. Drink a bottle of wine every night ‘legitimately’ with dinner.
5. Use ‘years’ of experience in industry to get a decent job and actually change the world.
The whole point of this article is that however old you are enjoy your life, plan for the future, and savour the present. The world doesn’t always go your way but you can only do your best. The most awesome thing about being a woman is you have the power to demand what you want. That’s why lists are so useful, I want so many things sometimes I forget them all.
For example:
Caroline’s Wish List
1. Create a world without Rape and Violence.
2. Overthrow Capitalism.
3. Destroy Patriarchy.
As you can see lists are very important. I mean, I wouldn’t want to forget to bring down the patriarchy now would I?
Jerry Springer’s final thoughts
1. Lists are great.
2. When you turn fifty get a tattoo on your ass.