Unearthed Facebook: The “What was I doing at these ages” meme: 25, 35 … and 42

So here’s a silly one: I ran across one of those “chain letter”-style Facebook memes where you fill out a survey, then tag another friend to fill out the same survey. In this case, I reflected on what I was up to at age 25 from the exalted vantage point of age 35. Some mild hilarity ensues, as I’ll note below.

I don’t plan to write a huge update to this, other than to note the fundamental futility of trying to grow up. My friend Gar Haywood, an awesome mystery author who you should be reading, says that every time he finishes a new novel, he thinks to himself, “Okay, the next one is really going to be good!”

I feel that way about every stage of my life. Every time I think I’ve got it all figured out, life comes along and cracks me in the jaw to remind me I’m still a blundering chucklehead.

But maybe, just maybe, that’s the point. The point isn’t to learn everything; it’s to come to the sobering realization you can’t.

Sections in bold are written by me from the current present: 2020, age 42.

Been awhile since I’ve done one of these! Thanks to [redacted], who gave me the age 25.

Hmmm — so, I turned 25 in 2002. Let’s look back at that year. It actually marked a nice turn in my life.

Where I lived: Los Angeles, in the hills over Silver Lake.

What I drove: A green Suzuki Sidekick that saw me through a few Chicago winters and carried me across the country five times, including: Chattanooga to Telluride (and back). Chicago to San Francisco (and back). And then finally from Chicago to L.A. When it finally died, I donated it. I still see it rolling around L.A. sometimes. I hope it’s not a zombie car. (“Ennnnginnnnnnes …”)

Ha ha! What a ham thirty-five-year-old me was. So was twenty-five-year-old me. I still am, for better or for worse.

What I did: In 2002, I was at the tail-end of working at Imagestarter, a headshot house. I later got a job at a large photo company called Pictage.

Both terrible jobs, though Imagestarter wasn’t a bad place to work.

Who had my heart: No one, although I was dating quite a bit.

My fears: Here’s the turning point. I was afraid I was pursuing the wrong things. 2002 was the year I decided to move away from acting and concentrate on novel-writing.

I had recently finished the first half of a very long novel (Magic Spiders, which remains incomplete), and I was turning to what would become my second and third novels, collectively titled The Island Circus. I also had a couple of short stories picked up around that time.

All true. I’ll probably finish up Magic Spiders sometime in the next decade or so. When I started it, I intended to write this massive, multigenerational John Irving-esque epic, but I later decided to refashion what I’d written into a little YA adventure that takes place at a spooky southern prep school. (The book’s second half may find life in a sequel novel that I’ve outlined. I have no idea if I’ll ever write it, though.)

I love The Island Circus, but it’ll probably never see the light of day. And that’s okay.

At the same time, I was a pretty busy actor that year, Crom help me. I’m relieved I made the call I did. I only wish I’d made it sooner.


My age now: 35

Where I live: Los Angeles, still in Silver Lake.

What I drive: A Bentley concept car that’s been cunningly disguised as a beat-up Hyundai Accent with a smash on the side I got when I drove into a telephone pole while looking at an attractive woman.

Still a ham!

What I do: Freelance web designer/developer. Noveler.

In case you’re wondering what the hell I mean by “noveler”:

Who has my heart: Miss Lauren Rock, aka the LLR. (Love you!)  🙂

My fears: Well, I had hoped to be a published novelist by this time, but I’ll get there. Sometimes it feels daunting, but I’m excited to self-publish The Odds in the coming months while I begin the search for new representation. I’m pleased with how the rewrites for Omegaball are coming.

Funny to know now how this all turned out.

My joys: Needless to say, meeting Lauren was a thunderstroke of good luck. I’m also delighted to have so many wonderful friends, a cool job, an artistic pursuit that brings me great satisfaction, and a great life.

It’s been a tough seven years, but those years have also been filled with wonder and joy. I married the LLR, aka the “Luminous Lauren Rock,” who remains my favorite person and greatest love.

If you read this far, what’s the matter with you? I kid, I kid. Much love to all!

“Like” this, and I’ll give you an age!

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