Man, you are getting your life GOING. This future is gonna HAPPEN, and it’s coming on strong! Some recent teeny-tiny considerations of yours, maybe:

  • College applications.
  • Grades.
  • Extracurriculars.
  • True-blue ride-or-die best friendships that you want to keep way beyond school, but which might be subjected to some distance pretty soon.
  • Jobs.
  • Standardized tests.
  • High school sweetheartzz that you want to stay with FOREVER, while still understanding you are totally in high school and look, it’s not like we’re getting married. AHHH WHAT AM I SAYING LOOK AT YOUR EYES THEY ARE THE COLOR OF ALGAE AND I WANT TO HANDCUFF MYSELF TO YOU.

When the world is constantly shoving CHOICES down your throat—and they’re ones that you care about a lot—it feels like whatever you choose will dictate the rest of your personal eternity. These musicians are proof that the contrary can be true. All of them started making work and HITTIN’ IT BIG (or, at least, big to me) after 30 years old, when they had already spent time doing MAD other things, like being poets (Leonard Cohen), teaching high school (Bob Pollard from Guided by Voices), and being Playboy Playmates (Debbie Harry).

Listening to this group of late-breaking heroes helps me remember that my life can happen whenever I want it to, and then it can happen again, and again, recursively but also in all different directions. “My life” does not have to be ONE career, person, education, cause, or group of loved ones. Nor does yours. Nor does Debbie Harry’s.

Still from Touki Bouki (1973), via Filmcaptures.

Illustration by Minna.

Illustration by Minna.