COLLAR CITY CRAWL (Sept 2022) By: Jordan Lanegan

Written by on September 12, 2022

How the hell is it already September?! Somebody, please, stop the time — I’m begging. 

When I was a kid, my mom and dad would host a lot of parties. It was their way of killing three birds with one stone: unwind from a stressful work week, spend time with the kids, and party with their friends. 

I always looked forward to these get-togethers and felt privileged to have parents as rad as mine, ones that let me stay up well past my bedtime just so I would feel included and cool enough to hang with the big dogs. 

And hanging with the big dogs was fun. I did feel included. I did feel cool. But then that time of night would roll around, when it was actually time to head to the room and lie down and leave the adults to their own devices – the time of night when the separation between adolescence and adulthood became starkly apparent. 

I hated this time of night. Every kid does. When we’re young, we crave being a grown-up. We write off our elders as sad, washed up, patronizing know-it-alls, full of regrets, pushing their ‘what-could-have-beens’ onto us, but as the years pass by and that once-so-desperate desire for maturity and freedom begins to come to fruition, we realize that maybe – just maybe – those old, know-it-all assholes were onto something after all. Perhaps we should have taken their precautions of slowing down and enjoying our youth while we still could more seriously. 

On the thirteenth of this month, I turn twenty-six, and as much as I’m not usually one for getting overly sentimental about birthdays, especially when it comes to my own, I can’t help but to do a little self-reflection over this totally absurd, uniquely human phenomenon we all share. We really are walking, living, breathing paradoxes (the weirdest species around, by far). 

In the spirit of cheesy, low-key cringey birthday traditions, I decided to pick out a word – a mantra if you will – to set the tone and intention for this next chapter of my life. The word? Time. My intention? To use it. Wisely.

All of us talk about time, all the time. We either don’t have enough of it or we have too much of it. It either drags on forever or it’s gone in the blink of an eye. Like anything else, it can either be a gift or a curse, a tool or an excuse, a friend or a foe. So… let’s choose to use it wisely together. 

Let’s take the time to embrace our ever-changing environment:

Long time dwellers of Troy will be the first to tell you that this town has changed, too much, and that it isn’t what it once used to be, and trust me, I get it. When you’ve grown accustomed to an area, it’s hard to let go of all that you have become familiar with, and it’s even harder to not get angry or bitter when reminiscing on the good-old-days, the days when it was the grubby dive bar before the boujee boutique, the grimy bodega before the hipster cafe, or the shoddy, slanted row of houses before it was the massive parking garage and luxury condos. 

Let’s take the time to see the silver-linings:

Gentrification is real, and it sucks – it sucks hard. It’s a pressing and dire issue that, unfortunately, too many people turn a blind eye to when it isn’t directly affecting them. But if one could potentially argue an upside to it, which quite frankly is probably not even appropriate, perhaps it would be that sometimes – just sometimes – we get a little, lotta lucky and end up with some really dope, new local spots thanks to fresh new business owners, which connect and bring the community together even more in the long-run. (Think Whiskey Pickle, El Dorado, The Little Viking, 353)

Let’s take the time to go with the grain, rather than against it:

We grow attached to things – arbitrary and silly as they may seem – not because we hate having nicer options of places to eat at or go to on our days off (I know we’re gritty here in Troy, but damn, we like nice things too), or because we inherently have something against the growth and development of communities, but because it is yet again another bittersweet reminder that the world will change around us – right before our very eyes – whether we like it or not and there isn’t a damn thing we can do about it. It isn’t so much about the new digs in town; it’s about what the new digs elicit from us, present to past.

Let’s find the time to enjoy the simple pleasures because before you know it, the temperature is going to rapidly drop and we’ll all be complaining about the cold, the snow, and how much we miss the warm weather and dreamy summer days that we never took advantage of and only have ourselves to blame for. Time, quite literally, is of the essence.

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