Another Year Older (Still Just as Wise)

I am officially twenty six years old today! My Facebook hasn’t been this busy for months, my phone constantly bombarded with notifications. So far, I received a set of Sherlock-themed tea from my best friend, Kate, complete with fanart decorating each tin. From Danielle and Payton, I received a six-pack of strawberry beer, a beautiful cake (Danielle has an internship at a bakery famous for intricate flower work), and a copy of Feminist Ryan Gosling.

It’s like they know me.

As a newly minted person of her late twenties, I feel that it is necessary to offer some advice to the younger generation.

1. Stop trying to figure everything out by a deadline. You’ll only get frustrated, downtrodden, and morose until you finally realize that you will never have everything figured out.

2. Make time to be lazy. It’s a luxury that adults are rarely able to afford, unless they are the newest generation of conglomerate families that bequeath their newborns with their own yachts.

3. Let love happen rather than looking for it. Romantic love is something that we’re told needs to be settled in two and a half hours by a pair of overly attractive protagonists with declarations made in front of the entire office/airport/wedding party. Life isn’t a Kate Hudson/Matthew McConnaughey film.

4. Stand on your own two feet. Eat cereal out of the box. Come home at eleven or three in the morning. Refuse to make the bed. Pay your own bills. Neglect laundry. It’s by far the most wonderful feeling in the world not having to answer to anyone but yourself.

And, there you have it. I have managed to survive yet another year in this world, despite the threat of exotic disease/drone strikes/robot uprising. This evening will be concluded with cake, booze, and Sharknado. What more could a birthday girl ask for?


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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