The Fear & Optimism of Turning 27: A Birthday Personal Perspective

Ky1Today, I turn 27 years old.

Holy shit.

It’s a scary feeling. A really scary feeling.

I was woken up at 6:21am by a phone call this morning. It was a Miami, Florida number, and for a brief second, I thought Lebron James and the Miami Heat organization was calling me to sing Happy Birthday in 6-part harmony. (No … it was not them on the phone.) Since that phone call this morning, I haven’t been able to go back to sleep for more than a couple minutes. So I eventually just decided to stay awake and watch tv.

I then made the mistake of Googling the number 27 and the phrase “27 years old.” That was a mistake because I kept getting redirected to websites dedicated to Jimi Hendricks and Kurt Cobain … you know, two artists who died at 27. (Which is MY age now, just in case you didn’t catch on to that part.)

That got me thinking about my friend Andrew Jarzyk who passed away last month at the age of 27. (RIP Andrew.) All of a sudden, all of these scary thoughts started popping into my head about turning 27.

Okay, I know all of you people who are 28 years and above are probably shaking your heads and rolling your eyes saying, “Get off my lawn!” “Shut up, youngin’.” And that’s fair, but I ask that you do indulge for a few minutes as I express my fear in the fact that 27 feels so much farther removed from 26, than 26 felt from 25. It’s weird. Pretty soon, I will be closer to 30 than I am to the day that I graduated from Rider University. (Go Broncs!)

Ky5As I write this right now, it kinda hit me that my fear isn’t necessarily the age of 27, it’s the fear of an ending decade. An entire decade of my life, my 20’s, the most important and vital decade of my life (I think) is coming to a close in a couple years. And sheesh, time is FLYING.

When I look back at my 20s, what am I going to think about? Graduating college? My search for a job that I know I deserve? Mitch McConnell? My acting career? My future ex-wife, Emma Stone? The state of my finances? My love life? That stupid Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie coming out this year? Will I think about how my 20s struck the perfect balance between adulthood and youthful fantasies? Finding my true place in life?

Or will I look back and ask, “Did I take the wrong path completely?”

What I Have Done

It took a while, but I finally graduated college. (If I stayed 1.5 more years, I would have been in college for the same amount of time Van Wilder was in college … I’m not joking.) I have been in two long-term relationships. I’m single now (holla at ya boy Halle Berry), but I am ready for a third (and hopefully final.) I told myself that if I am not in a legitimate relationship by 30, I am joining the nunnery. I have had two apartments, and once this new job thing starts working itself out, I’ll be searching for my third. I have gone through three cars: A 199? Ford Contour. A 2010 Ford Focus. And I’m currently rockin’ a 1999 Acura 3.2 TL. (It still rides great, but it’s definitely going into retirement soon. Not like “Cher-style” retirement … like, an actual retirement.) And of course, I have like 15 separate careers going on at once, though they are all related to each other.

Ky4I just finished an awesome production of Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party at The Ritz Theatre NJ. Next up I have Shrek the Musical which opens May 30th and runs for two weekends at The Kelsey Theatre. Visit my website ( for ticket info!

What I Haven’t Done

I haven’t back-packed across Europe and Australia yet. I haven’t gone on another rollercoaster summer tour. I have not become the male Oprah. (Long, complicated story… well, not that long … and not that complicated … okay, it’s actually quite self-explanatory.) I have not yet wed (legally … though I was married for a class project in Health class my senior year of highschool). I do not have any children (that I know of … here in the United States). I have not apologized to the people that I have hurt over the years. (I really have been meaning to.) I have not finished the book that I began to write. (It’s coming, I promise.) I am not a popular Broadway actor. And I am not the young 20 year old prodigy that I was convinced I’d become while I was in highschool.

A couple of those things I do regret … a bunch of them I do…

When I Start Freakin’ Out About Shit, There Are Two Things That I Do

Number 1, I listen to “Superstar/Until You Come Back to Me” by the late Luther Vandross. This song really calms me down day after day. Especially towards the end when he sings, “It’s alright … it’s alright.” I really feel like he’s talking to me when he sings that. I feel like he’s right over my shoulder, looking at me saying, “It’s okay Keenan. You’ll figure this out. Just breath.”

Ky3Number 2, I write. I am in the middle of writing my blog that breaks down Sherlock Holmes (which you can read here). I love to write. I write about whatever is on my mind or whatever I feel like people can relate to. Much like this blog post, I give people a key to the doorway that leads into my brain. (Are you sure you want to enter? Okay … well, you’ve read this much so far… you might as well just finish it out, you’re almost done lol)

How I Plan on Making 27 the Best Year of My Life

One – I am going to stop living my life like I am still in college. I am not in college. I am a G.A.M. (Grown Ass Man). I mean, I live my life like an adult, and I still plan on having fun (mini-golf anyone?), but it’s time that I “turn it up to 11,” you know? I legit live my life as if I could pack up all my possessions, load it into my aging Acura TL, and go wherever I want. I live my life with one foot out the door. Perhaps it’s time to put a little effort into changing that this year.

Two – My career is no longer a hobby, it’s a REAL J-O-B. I spend so much time contemplating where I want my career to go, that I feel like I am getting sidetracked. I am currently balancing between my career and my favorite hobby, and I am realizing that that is not a good place to be emotionally at this age. I plan on changing that. (If I don’t, I swear, I am joining that nunnery. Is Maria is still there causing problems?)

Three – I am so obsessed above the way people perceive me. That needs to stop, or at least relax a little. Sometimes, I get so obsessive about perception that I feel like a politician giving a speech during election season. If I just let go (let it gooooo… let it goooooo) and behave truthfully, I will become a better person. For goodness sake… I need to stop playing things too safe.

Ky2Four – Pay more attention to my financial management and my future plans and health. I am getting older faster than I would like to. Sure, right now I am still a baby, but pretty soon I’ll be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. I need to save my money, I need to spend it wisely, I need to stay healthy, and continue to exercise as much as possible.

Five – Commitment. There are a lot of things that interest me. And that’s awesome, and I am very proud of that fact. That is why I write so much, because it allows me to live several lives at once. (Me? Schizoid? Yeah, prolly. #geminiprobz) But even though a shit-ton of things interest me, I need to pick a few things to concentrate on, and become REALLY good at them. (I swear, if I am still having this conversation when I am 37 years old … I am quitting that nunnery and becoming a stripper.)

Six – Travel. It’s happening. I am travelling. Are you coming with me?

(Seven – Really, Ky? Selfies? #kyseye? How much longer are you going to do that?) No idea, Parenthesis, no idea. Ps, all I really want for my birthday is 50 #kyseye pictures in my text messages. I have 13 so far… keep them coming! lol

27 is going to be a good age for me. It has to be. I can’t have another 26.

Happy Birthday to me 🙂

One thought on “The Fear & Optimism of Turning 27: A Birthday Personal Perspective

  1. Thank you for this! I am turning 27 in a couple of weeks and have been seized with so many “what have I done?” And, “I’m no longer in college,” thoughts. It’s been an anxiety far beyond what I imagine 30 will be, simply because it’s the entrance to the “grown ass man” days. I love the six or seven things you said you would do. And now that 28 is coming up, how have they panned out so far? I found this blog through a Google search, much the same way you searched!

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