It came out of nowhere but my kids are now Taylor Swift super fans. One day they didn’t know who she was and the next day they were telling me all about her “beef” with Katy Perry. Shortly after that, we had a Taylor Swift binge session watching videos like Style and Blank Space. My girls were happily singing along when I interrupted the party. I had to. I looked at the screen and there was Tay Tay beating the living CRAP out of her boyfriend’s car with a golf club. That kind of behavior is not OK and I didn’t want my kids to think it was because “Mommy!! Taylor Swift did it!”
The current fave with my girls is the song 22. We looked up the video yesterday. As you can imagine, it’s all about being 22 and, if memory serves, it’s pretty spot on. Everyone in the video seemed to be having a great time, and although every decade is great in its own way, there’s nothing like your 20’s.
I found myself pointing out things about my 20’s while we were watching, but my kids wanted no part of me or my memories. They only wanted Taylor Swift.
This is what I wanted to say:
Your 20’s are your time. My dad told me that when I was in my 20’s. He referred to it as my “elongated childhood.” It was the bridge between my teen years and my grown-up years. I had no parental supervision and although I had some responsibilities, I was mostly just responsible for myself. He used to say that I had my 20’s to figure it out and f**k up, but I needed to have it together by the time I reached 30. And then he told me to have the best time. And I did.
The video for 22 brought back memories for me while, at the same time, it made me think of the staff we have at camp right now. They’re in their 20’s–Taylor Swift age–but while Taylor Swift is having the best time (or at least it looks like she is) with hot guys, cute clothes, fun friends and two tons of money—the staff at camp is broke, tired and dirty. But they’re working at a summer camp.
How fun is that?
They get to meet and hang exclusively with people from all over the US, and all over the world (THE WORLD, dude.) We have staff here from Australia, England, even Mexico!! And the relationships made at camp can be super intense because it’s not like oh…you might run into him at a club this weekend, but you might not. NO—you’re GONNA run into him at camp—pretty much every single day, several times a day. And not only that, but when you do, the real story between you two has been completely lost because when you’re at camp. It’s not just between you guys. Not even close!
It’s crazy here if you’re in your 20’s. Your time at camp is everything and anything you want it to be. You can have a ton of friends or just one. You can be a large part of the camp fabric, or you can specialize in a certain activity. You can make yourself known and make everyone’s time here a little more fun, or you can hang back and make a difference with just one or two kids. You can work hard and play hard, or you can suck.
I have found that it’s more fun to be at camp when you don’t suck. It’s a small community so things like cutting corners and laziness come out quickly, and it never takes long before word gets out. And you don’t want to be one that sucks.
The 20’s are an amazing time, but a finite time. Regardless of everything else that is going on, you’re still starting to build your character and your future. Many decisions made during your 20’s will have consequences later:
You want to get a tattoo of the Tanuga Eagle when camp is over? Great! I love that you want that memory of your time here, but choose the spot wisely. Unless you’re going into a REALLY lenient industry, the tattoo industry, or you’re so smart or talented it doesn’t matter—most companies aren’t super hip to hiring people with blatant, huge tattoos. Also, you may have a smokin’ hot 20’s body now, but you won’t always. Picture yourself as a grandma with a tramp stamp. That’s all I’m saying.
Except for one other thing: Have the best time, but be smart.
And try not to piss anyone off so much that they go Taylor Swift on your car with a golf club.
Thank you for being here!
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