It has recently come to my attention that I am aging.
Tragic, I know.
And, cognitively, you know, I’m aware that I’m not old and depending on who you ask you can’t even say that I’m not young. College students all seem in that hazy in between state of “I probably should have my life together more than I do,” not necessarily young, far removed from old, but definitely older than the Good ‘Ol Days when snack time was government mandated, you could nap pretty much any time you wanted with no repercussions, and bills were something you didn’t have to worry about.
Good times, good times.
And obviously I know I’ve gotten older, chronologically, but maturity is something that’s hard to pin down and quantify. Everyone knows that feeling you get on your birthday. The clock ticks forward, you’re another year older, but nothing feels different, nothing ever feels different, but you always expect it to. So it’s a little harder to figure out when you “grew up.”
This whole “Oh no, I’ve gotten older, everything’s changed” thing hit me over the summer, actually, so not really all that recent depending on how you look at it.
Now, I really wasn’t doing anything over the summer, which did make me feel kind of useless, but that’s a whole other issue entirely, so I spent the most of my time going to the library and playing Pokemon Go when that was still a thing.
Very early on in the summer I had determined that I was getting tired of reading “smart people books” which, as an English major, I felt obligated to do. So after a week of reading said smart people books, I said a quick apology in my head to my English professors and went downstairs to my library’s Young Adult section.
I’m a young adult, I said in my head, it’s totally socially acceptable for me to be here. Besides, I could totally pass as a high schooler and no one will judge me and okay the person checking out my books went to my high school, just don’t make eye contact. Why are you making small talk?? We barely ever talked to each other! When did you get engaged???
I spent a shameful amount of time reading cheesy teen romance books and, I’ll admit, I loved every second of it and have no regrets.
And then, maybe a month into summer break, it happened.
I used to be in love with the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I loved Greek mythology, I loved the characters, I loved the story, and most of all I loved the writing. It was so clever and hilarious to me and I thought If I ever become a writer, I want to write like that.
So anyway, as I was walking through the YA section, I spotted a new book written by Rick Riordan, set in the same Percy Jackson universe, and I decided Well, I’ve got nothing better to do and I borrowed it along with Wink, Poppy, Midnight (which was meh) and The Raven Boys (10/10 would recommend).
When I got back home, I made myself cozy in my bed and cracked open The Hidden Oracle, excited to read another adventure from a series that I had loved so much.
I couldn’t make it through two pages and dropped it to my bedroom floor, where it stayed until its due date.
It’s not that the author had lost the ability to write, if anything he’s gotten better since the first book. I know for a fact that if I had read this five years ago I would have finished all 400 pages in 4 hours and loved every hour, every minute, every second of it. The fact that I couldn’t read this book kind of felt like a betrayal to my younger self. I wanted to like this book, for nostalgia’s sake if anything, but I just had no interest in it.
It was just kind of meh.
I’m not torn up about it. I didn’t cry over the fact that I don’t like books written for middle schoolers, but I was…I don’t know. The closest word I can think of is “disappointed” and even that’s not quite right.
It’s like finishing a book or TV show or movie. The story’s ended, you’ve got your closure, you’ve got another book or TV show or movie waiting for you, but you’re still kind of sad that the last one is over. That adventure’s done, it’s time to move on.
And I guess that’s where we all are in our lives right now, that old adventure’s over. It’s time to move on to the next one. But it’s okay to miss the old adventure from time to time.