“Even at 25, you gotta start sometime.” 

With only a few days left where that lyric can be relevant to my age and existence, this song has been floating through my head at regular intervals in recent weeks. Few bands have held as constant a presence in my life as Jimmy Eat World during the past decade or so, a testament to their timeless mastery of the American rock song and coming-of-age, accepting-of-age narratives. I will never tire of them. 

This song, a better known track by fair-weather fans and a firm staple in any best-of catalog, is the ultimate kiss-off to self-doubt and procrastination. It also has one of the most memorable hooks, and opening cymbal hits, you’ll find from the early 2000s alt-rock era. This song, with its undeniably catchy melody and backbeat, is about action, about being present, about showing up for your own life.  

“Are you gonna waste your time 

Thinkin’ how you’ve grown up, or how you missed out?”

Spending a life waiting for something to happen is no life at all, not when the potential to act, to achieve, to love and feel and experience exists at the fingertips of those willing to reach for it. At a quarter-century of life, it is not too late to shape these dreams. Modern society seems to have these boundaries mapped out for us, suggesting when adulthood should kick in and when we should become the functioning cog we’re meant to be, but life is far more messy than those broad strokes allow. We fumble and fall on the way to our destinations, we take one step forward and two steps back, then leap ahead miles in a single bound and stumble on the landing. 
Still, what a comforting, inspiring reminder it is to know it’s never too late to keep trying. All I need is just to hear a song I know.

“I’m on my feet, I’m on the floor, I’m good to go.
So come on Davey, sing me somethin’ that I know.
I wanna always feel like part of this was mine.
I wanna fall in love tonight, here tonight.
I wanna always feel like part of this was mine
I wanna fall in love tonight.

~A Praise Chorus
Jimmy Eat World, Bleed American