Late-Twenties Transitioning

Box of raisins in hand, looking for new dreams

When Stephen turned twenty-seven (about a year and a half ago) we got into a fight. Not on his actual birthday, but during one of the weeks leading up to it. I was nagging him to be more serious about Life Things now that he was almost in his *late* twenties instead of mid-twenties, and he was insisting that twenty-seven still counted as “mid-twenties” and your late twenties began at twenty-eight.

“Twenty through twenty-three is EARLY twenties, twenty-four through twenty-six is MID-twenties, and twenty seven through twenty nine is LATE twenties– I don’t understand how you’re not seeing the math here!” I shrieked in a fit of misplaced anger.

The reality was, I felt like I was failing at adulthood, marooned in a mountaintop house in North Carolina because the abrupt crashing of my high fashion modeling career had demanded financial reprieve. (My father-in-law’s vacation home was our temporary home, and we were living rent-free while Stephen worked remotely and I recovered from my acne / started this blog / helped out with his company.)

Subconsciously, I was trying to “fix” certain aspects of Stephen’s personality because I wasn’t where I’d expected to be by my then-age of twenty-five. I felt like everything was out of my control. I felt trapped and helpless, like a spotted leper outside the gates of High Fashion City. Wanting to return inside. Wanting to run the other way. Wanting to return inside. Wanting to burn the damn thing down.

Oh, Fashion!

First it’s a lover and now it’s a city. I mean, what can I say? That industry is anything but just an “industry” to those who’ve been inside. Perhaps I should speak for myself, but I can practically feel my model/stylist/photographer friends nodding from their sides of the glowing computer screen.

So what’s a girl to do when, for the first time in her life, she feels truly and deeply directionless? When she shot for the moon, skimmed around a few fleeting stars… and landed in the gravel with a broken leg.

Why, she yells at her husband of course!!!! 😉

The same husband who was working full-time for his own company. The one who’d washed off the gravel and wrapped a cast around her broken leg. The one whose Adulting game was far stronger. You know, that guy.

As I approach my own twenty-seventh birthday, I wish I’d agreed that number fits at the top end of the MID-twenties spectrum. Is it too late to go back and let Stephen win that fight lol?

I know it’s young no matter how you categorize it. I know my mom’s friends and my friends’ moms who read this blog are probably chuckling about an almost 27-year-old feeling the weight of time. I know twenty-seven is young. But knowing something and feeling something are different animals.

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I wasn’t going to share this until I actually had a new job, but here you have it: I am job hunting.

Until recently, I’d been keeping my schedule open for modeling jobs and doing some freelance digital marketing. And it just doesn’t feel right anymore.

I still love my fashion agencies, and absolutely adore the liquor promo agency I started working for a couple months ago.

Pretty much all the girls with the promo agency have 9-5 careers though, so nothing much would change for me if I gained one. Promos tend to be in the evenings and on the weekend, so I could easily have my New Career Bread and eat my Promo Cake too.

Working an office job would change my fashion modeling career a little more, but to be honest it’s not that much of a career. I thought I could piece together a full time income here in the Tampa area between HSN and local shoots and shows, but that hasn’t proven realistic.

Plus, probably a good 1/3 of my past fashion bookings have been on the weekend, so I could still dip my toes into the fashion modeling waters when weekend opportunities present themselves. I guess what I’m trying to say is if Fashion was my lover, I’m demoting him to the fun, occasional *you-know-what* buddy. He’s still on the radar, but I’ve come to terms with the fact that he’ll never be husband material–at least not for me. And when a guy isn’t husband material, you can’t continue to forsake others for him, you know?

{{Side note: I’m not the only model who’s personified the fashion industry as a lover. A couple weeks ago I stumbled upon this compelling article and actually found the exact. same. comparison.}}

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I’ve begun to realize fashion modeling isn’t working out because deep down I don’t want it to. My constant craving to write, my yearnings for academia, my nostalgia for past jobs that used more analytical thinking… they all recently led me to this place:

The raisin in the sun has been eaten and digested. The deferred dream has been dreamed, and delicate dawn light is filtering through the shades. It’s time to toss the sticky cardboard box and bring out a heartier, more long-term form of sustenance. It’s time to open my eyes, inhale the clink of coffee beans, and welcome a new day.

 

Does it explode?

I lived it. I loved him. So I’ll never have to find out. And for that, my heart explodes with gratitude.

Xx, Maya

(In honor of the fashion industry, where everyone signs with “xx”…)

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