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As you all know, I challenged myself a couple months ago to raise money and participate in the cystic fibrosis Climb for the Cure fundraiser. Well….. I did it. Boo-ya, bitches.

Many people admitted to me “Eh, I figured you were going to bail out of it.” And I wont lie, but I laid in bed the morning of it debating on leaving the comforts of satin pillows and heavy comforters that kept me snug and warm. I starred at my ceiling and took a deep breath…. “NO! My team needs me! And people donated money for me to participate in this event!” Plus it was a fantastic excuse to get caribou and have dilly bars when it was all over.

The experience in its self is hard to explain. I have never done anything like this before, and I was so nervous to do it. What if I couldn’t? What if I died on the 7th floor and everyone laughs and leaves my body there to rot away all weekend? Seems silly to think but I lost two nights of sleep over those kinds of dreams. I love the gym, I love the feeling after a good workout, but lets be honest about the fact that I have NEVER been athletic and I get tired out and discouraged easily.

I showed up bright and early, zoned in on the IDS building that stood above me in the crystal court. It seemed like a long climb, but easily possible. Most of all I was excited to participate with KDWB, I was so nervous to meet the morning show participants, and sure enough when they called for the team to meet them I was completely star struck (most famous people I have ever met lol). To make matters worse on my nerves, I was the ONLY one who showed up on the team! 10 people signed up, and only I showed, which made me instantly happy I went.

Crisco and Intern John are two of the coolest, laid back people I have ever met and I enjoyed hanging out with them! Climbing the stairs was especially fun, and not at all what I expected. When I heard IDS stairs, I was picturing a wide stairwell along side window after window. A bright and sunny set of marble stairs that take you to the top in no time. But no, it was the emergency stair case, made of metal and lit by orange-ish colored lighting. I felt like someone was going to dodge out of a corner and shank me.

I pushed on my way and by the fourth floor, I was already exhausted. Legs went tense, face began to get warm, heart was racing, I didn’t think I could do it. I am so thankful for the people with little cups of water every few floors lol. It proved how out of shape I really still am!

Anyways, getting to the top was a very amazing feeling. Empowering a bit, but I was SO thankful to be there, look down and know I walked up that far by stairs! And all for a good cause! My very first fundraising event complete.

I spent the past week looking for other fundraisers to do. I am enrolled to do the Polar Plunge, planning on participating with U.S Bank for the heart walk, and was also suggested to do the gray ghost run in October. All for good causes, but I also thought, what is a cause I am personally passionate about. Although all fundraisers need help and I am happy to make a difference, what is something life changing to me?

Well, duh, a melanoma fundraising event! I am personally affected by the loss of my only brother from melanoma, so it’s only natural that I would want to raise money so others don’t suffer what my family did. I began my google process immediately, only to discover that there is no fundraising event in Minnesota! The only one I could find was a run in New York.

This, my dear friends, is something that needs to change. So I thought about it… it’s going to be a lot of work, but with help and motivation, I would like to organzie a charity event (i.e a run or a climb, golf tournament, something) to raise money for Melanoma research and families suffering from it.

Think about it…. Susan G Komen started this way, the climb for the cure did, polar plunge, all charities started when someone was really passionate about something! I want to bring that awareness to MN in honor of Tim. It may not happen this year, and it may not get big for years to come, but I am determined to make.this.happen.

Bring on the new challenges 2011. I am ready for you!

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The Challenge

         Salutations and seasons greetings to you 5 people who read my blog!

         I know it has been quite some time since my last post, but lack of internet makes writing difficult!

         It is a mildly chilly morning of -7 degrees, and I decided writing needs to be done. This one is simple tho my friends. Short, sweet, and mostly in need of your help!

         While Christmas fastly approches, it becomes apparent how difficult it will be this year. First set of holidays sans The Tim Gage (although I have this eerie feeling he has been hanging around lately!), and the tradition of gifts, egg nog, board games and all around holiday laughter will be lacking a bit. I have adjusted my mind set to the fact that my big brother wont be around, which is hard, but I began to awknowlege the kind of things other people are missing out on, and simple selfless things that can be done.

         Lets start with the fact that I still been thinking about the kind of person I am. I can openly admit I am a selfish person, but I would like to change that. December is all about helping others by donating toys, clothes, toothbrushes, hats, mittens, food, etc. BUT, what about the other 11 months? There are many other charities that need year around help! Battered women don’t just get battered in December, children aren’t just parentless in December, people don’t die of cancer nor are children born with a birth defects, just in December.

        With this in mind, I once again thought about what a giving person my brother was. Maybe not to charities, but he was beyond helpful to his family and friends. I think about all the times he bought me gifts, food, took me to see plays, drove my 14 year old girlfriends and I to the movies and more. He always made sure the people he loved were taken care of. Well, I will make more of an effort to make sure my family is taken care of, but I thought about other families who need help with that! I officially want to put myself out there more to help others.

         This my friends, is where I need your help!!!

          I joined the KDWB team for “Climb for the Cure”. It’s challenging, exciting, and all for a good cause. Team Crisco wants to raise $1500.00 for Cystic Fibrosis via funraising and donations. The Challenge: an enduring climb up the IDS stairs, all 1280 of them, on February 5th 2010. I am also looking for others who would like to donate their time in walking those stairs with me. Training will be have to be done before hand, but I figure it’s an excuse to REALLY force myself back at lifetime fitness (my ass…..is going to look FANTASTIC!). I made a personal goal of trying to raise $300.00. The minimum is $150.00 but I would really like to challenge myself on this one.

         If people could donate i’d be VERY greatful. I am also planning on fundraisers, and if anyone has any fundraising ideas, or could donate some of their companies profits one day (i.e. the beer sales of that day from a bar) or know their work would gladly help in taking in donations and hanging up peoples names, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!

        I am really looking forward in doing this and pushing myself in helping others who have harder times then some of us fortunate. Thanks to everyone, as you would really be making my holidays by helping me do this!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Please Visit Here —> http://www.cff.org/LWC/dsp_DonationPage.cfm?idEvent=15164&idUser=434760

I…..am 21!!!

Yes, finally, after 4 years of agonizing over not having anywhere to go because I was too young has ended. After meeting many guys who flirt and then run away screaming because I couldn’t legally drink, has ended.  It is a new Era for April Rayne! Who knows what wacky antics I will get into now (well, I do know actually. Being drunk.)

My experience turning 21 was not as exciting as I thought it would be tho.  I was expecting lots of people to be excited with me, and buying me shots, and me dancing on the bar, and then I go home to sleep and the next morning the magical hangover fairy visits me and sends me on my way to a great day of work, only to start over again the following night!

You called?

I always thought that’s the person I would be when I turned 21. I Could HANDLE it, and not look like a jack ass.

Sadly, I followed the traditional turning 21 check list. Items include:

  • Pretending to not be drunk infront of the family.
  • Stumbling over bar tables when arriving at the bar.
  • Downing first 6 drinks.
  • Downing first 6 shots
  • Crying
  • Drunk dialing co-workers and screaming “I’m drunk!”
  • Hustling the bar tender
  • Trying to have a deep conversation with the bartender, telling him you were once a server and know how it feels to suck
  • Running up to random tables and doing the white-mans overbite with some quirky hand movements
  • Projectile vomiting in the bathroom for half an hour
  • Singing loud and obnoxious to the obnoxious songs you put on the juke
  • Falling out of the car when someone drops you off and laying in the driveway
  • Drunk dialing all your exboyfriend to tell them how crappy they are at life
  • Finally; passing out with your makeup smeared all over your face and your weave tangled up.

That is grade A clASS right there.

We’ll see what happens. Since then I have drank out in public several times and I was plenty fine (gay 90s in a completely different topic we wont get into). But, I am an obnoxious surprise who loves attention from anyone who is willing to stare at my ugly mug for more then 2 seconds. What will happen now that I am 21 is beyond my guess, it’ll be interesting to see. I predict too many vodka crannies, one bar fight and a one night stand.

But we’ll see…..

"Drink me, I make the sad go away, yaaaaaayyyy!!"

Cheers to be 21 and being at the peak of my life. Now if only I can figure out who I am.

I Heart Single

Spring is here!

Birds are chirping, deer are humping, and the facebook newsfeed is FULL of relationship changes! It is the time of the year when people start to realize they don’t want to be fucking alone, so they have to quick settle for someone until about mid-June.

As for me, I Heart Single.

This is not one of those pitty loves ether.  You know, the kind where you are the only single at a table of couples giving ‘poor you looks’ and you feel you must quick explain “but I love the single life”.  No no, this is, thanks to facebook creepin and the crying sounds of relationship distress from friends, a love that makes me feel fluttery. The fact that I love myself and doing what (and whom) I want.

I had a relationship months back, and I can safely admit now that it wasn’t much of anything but lustful feelings for someone who paid attention to me when I had self esteem issues. At the time, nothing felt more embarrassing to me then being broken up with, and only later to discover he was with another chick quickly. Was I heartbroken, or was I feeling ashamed for being 20 and single?

I feel like girls in todays society have the hardest time. I’m not trying to be all feminist and GIRL POWER by any means. We all are having hard times, but the expectations on women now days are stressful to the maximum. Men still have the same….get a job….support a family….make money. But as a female, we have to wear our hair right, and keep it healthy, wear the right amount of makeup (can’t be too much or too little), have cute pants, skirts, capris, shorts, tanktops, sweaters, bras, lace panties. Then there are shoes…..flats, sneakers, heels, wedges. We are expected to go to college now (can’t rely on NO MAN to support you -finger snap-), get a high paying job, have our own car. Seems pretty standard for now days….but there are so many guys out there who still 100% expect women to have that AND know how to sew torn clothes, cook dinner every night, wake up with the kids every morning to get them ready, keep the house clean and maintain a healthy weight.  ALL of this, expected out of one women and if you are 20-something, and single, you are quit possibly almost a spinster.

What the....?! I was just trying to look up funny cat photos! Go away!

This is where I heart single. I started going to the gym to maintain the healthy weight, I started cooking for myself, spending the money I have to concentrate so hard on to earn on me and only me. Being in a relationship is a lot of work and stress! I learned that quickly from my friends who message me on a daily basis about todays issue;

“He is always busy and doesn’t have any time to spend with me and I am so depressed about it!”

“He left me because he expects me to cook and clean and he wont even let me go to school!”

“She’s just going to cheat on me anyway…. she wont even give me a b.j…..”

“He never wakes up with the baby, he forced me to quit my job, and now he is breaking up with me because I don’t have a job!”

I’m telling you….the problems my friends have with their relationships are enough to keep Gloria Allred busy.

I just think it’s so sad that we get this one life, and so many people are freaked on what others will think about them if they are single, or that they have to find THE ONE while in college. Altho it is very sweet, and romantic, hearing that story of meeting her husband of 80 years at college from old biddy Eunice, it’s so unrealistic. And if you do meet someone at college, how many of those people stay married and happy for long? You meet someone when you are 20…spend all of your time with them and then you spend the rest of your life with them!? That is way to long for me.

These are the reasons why I am taking a better approach. Screw the looking for someone. I will be 21 in one week, and I will only be 21 once. This is the time in my life to have fun, be young and beautiful, meet new people and worry about me and me only. I don’t want to worry about what boyfriend John Doe wants to eat for dinner. I don’t want to worry about what baby needs (too many young mothers, but I will save that rant for another time). I want to go out, dance my butt off and not worry about the boyfriend being angry about it at home. I want to spend quality time with my friends and gossip without having boyfriend there to pout because he isn’t as close with them.  I want to worry about who I will be, where I will be going, and be responsible for nothing but what is sitting right here in front of me.

I Heart Single.

Everyone has inspiration for the great things they do. Thomas Edison had Ben Franklin for example, Martin Luther King jr. had Mahatma Gandhi, and Stephanie Meyer has J.K Rowling and a little bit of crazy to help her come up with “Twilight”.  I am in no way a great writer, In fact, I have always HATED writing, but for the past several years I find myself with thoughts going in and out of my head at a thousand miles an hour. After seeing the success of my older brothers blog I decided to start one also. I still have a hard time slowing down those thoughts so I can write them out but I am starting to succeed and have began to enjoy expressing them to others.  For this, I have the inspiration of my amazing brother Tim Gage.

This post is dedicated to him. To acknowledge his great accomplishments and how he has changed who I am today. Having siblings much older then me has always been a challenge growing up. I was in second grade when Tim graduated highschool, and what 18 year old wants their 8 year old sister hanging around them? My sister also, being 6 years older then me, had her own social life going on and didn’t much appreciate the annoying child trying to hang around, and altho we are close now, Tim had always been the one to let me be an annoying sister.

I feel so lucky to get a brother and sister. One of each. But poor Tim had two very emotional sisters. Two younger sisters who cried, screamed, fought and giggled with girlfriends on pretty much a daily basis. Growing up, I have so many fond memories with him. He let me hangout in his room and watch him play playstation. He took me to see the original Star Wars movies when they were re-released into the theaters. He even did all the dishes when mom told me to, and never spilled a word about me being lazy. Never once did we fight (altho he was good at arguing).

I feel so lucky to have gotten to share in alot of the same passions he had. Between both of my siblings, I feel I am most like my brother (sorry Amber =]). I spent a lot of time in school being teased, wanting to be creative, staying home to read instead of go out with friends and found the same accepting love in the world of theater then I ever did with the “party” girls I hung out with in high school. Tim is, and always has been, my inspiration for the great things I try to do. I know I will never be as good at them as he was, but now I feel the need to try and follow in his footsteps. Not just for me, but to keep his legacy living on.

At first, I had what I thought to be an easier time then most handling his death. We all saw it coming for some time and it seemed best to happen. His last few months were not good, and let me tell everyone that watching your only brother slowly suffer is the hardest thing you can go through. I do believe that what I went through was harder then anyone in the world can understand.

People often tell me “I know how you feel” and I nod…..but no. No you can not understand. You can not understand what it’s like to see your already skinny brother get skinnier. You can not understand waking up every morning to the sound of your brother puking up his entire being. You can not understand being on stage with your brother, spending christmas time with your brother, and in only two short months later watching him go from headaches and dizziness ,to laying in a hospital bed in your living room completely helpless and drugged up and unable to speak or see you. No one can understand that.

I try so hard to block out his last few days from my mind. He wasn’t him, and it breaks my heart still to close my eyes and see those images. They wont go away….I feel so trapped. How does someone block memories and why can’t I do it? I was in such denial about the whole thing. Even when he got to the point where he couldn’t make sense of his sentences, I told myself it was the medications he had, even tho deep down inside someone was screaming at me that it was the cancer. Maybe because my mom would keep talking about “when your brother dies..” my every bit of being held onto that little string of hope and my denial stood ontop of reality.  All I can picture is my brother laying there on his last day with us, his eyes were empty and starring off into nothing. The sounds he made I can’t even explain….but those sounds…those sounds of death…. the sounds of pain and frustration and feeling cheated out of life. Those sounds still echo in my ears and I want them to go away so bad.

The last time my brother spoke to me was the monday before he died. I was heading to work and I said i’d see him later. He just said “Bye.”

….Bye. Not “See you later”, but bye. When I got home he was sleeping, and by that next morning, his last day, he couldn’t even speak anymore. I spent all Tuesday by his side, along with my family and two of Tims close friends. I feel like I can’t even remember much about the day other then it was long, and my haunting image that wont leave me alone. The image of holding his warm hand, and looking into his eyes. This is where no one can understand my pain. The pain of looking into his eyes, and seeing nothing. Just the suffering and frustration of someone so young and someone who tried so hard. I remember feeling so angry at the world. I was angry at the doctors, I was angry at my mother, I was angry at myself. I was angry that I was looking straight at him, straight into his eyes and I couldn’t fix it. I couldn’t do anything. I was angry that I was talking to him and altho he starred back at me, he couldn’t see me. Not only did I feel he was cheated but I felt cheated too.

One-by-one, we all fell asleep. Everyone except my brother-in-law, and when he left the room for even two seconds, that was the moment my brother chose to leave his body. I know he chose that moment too, because it is such a Tim thing to do. Secretly, when no one is around to witness and bother him. Waking up to my brother-in-law telling me he had just passed away is my other hurtful memory. I was sleeping on the floor next to Tim’s bed, and I sat up faster then a blink of an eye. My heart completely sunk and I heard my thoughts screaming at me “No, no no no it’s not true it’s not possible he is gonna get better he wont die.”I practically leaped onto his bed, grabbing his hand and feeling nothing but cold. It was a complete 180 from the warm hands I had just been holding and felt moving hours before. Instant tears, instant screams from us all as we one-by-one woke up to someone we loved and cherished to have left us alone.

My sister I think is the one who suffered the most. She just starred when she realized he died. No sounds, no cries. Just the blank look of what I know was the feeling of failure. She tried so hard, devoted much of her work and family time to saving my brother, and I know she has felt the most cheated from this situation. But I envy her so much for trying, and I know my brother is nothing but thankful for all the love she has to give us all.

So here I am. Almost a month later from March 17th 2010 and I am finally telling people how I feel. The easy time and relief I had from having to watch him suffer is finally turning into ultimate grief again. I am so used to having him around it has turned into nothing but pain. At first it was almost like he was just gone at rehearsal, or back at college. But now….now I find myself needing answers and he isn’t around to answer them. He isn’t playing poker in his room, he isn’t watching Arrested Development on his laptop nor is he sitting at the table reading a poker magazine and eating a toaster strudel. Not getting cast for the first time in a play was where it struck its first chord. “Not cast…but I need advice! I need reassurance that it’s not the end of my potential theater hobby!” …..no answer. No ‘Break a leg’ before my audition ether.

My house is too quiet now and for the first time I am constantly alone. The sounds that once annoyed me or lulled me to sleep are missing. Tim often fiddled with poker chips on his desk while he played online poker, and I would hear the sounds of them clanking together repeatedly. No loud movie playing at 1 AM in the next room while I tried to sleep is heard anymore ether. My whole routine is thrown off, and each day the absence of those sounds become more and more real.

I can feel myself sinking now, slowly into the hurt that has been absent for the past few weeks. I can feel myself fighting the pain as well, because Tim wouldn’t want me feeling this. This pain that is creeping up on me is exactly why my brother fought so hard. He didn’t fight just for himself, he fought because being the selfless person he always has been, he didn’t want any of us to feel what we are feeling.

I find myself the last few days pacing back and fourth in my room. My mind once again thinking one thousand things at one thousand miles. Back fourth, back fourth. I keep thinking exactly what I know I am not supposed to think.

“Why?”

“Why?” I repeat.

Back fourth, back fourth. “Why did this have to happen? Why god, do you feel the right to take someone so selfless and talented from us? Someone who had a big impact on so many lives?”

back fourth, back fourth.

Stop……stop and stare at the wall. Stare at the wall and feel the frustration of getting no answer.

back fourth, back fourth, I continue on. “Why couldn’t this be me instead? What do I do? What have I done? I don’t have an impact on a community. You, god, never blessed me with any talents to share with the world. Not like Tim.”

I keep trying to understand his death. I come up with answers but they are just excuses. “Why do you take the good, and leave behind the lazy, the useless, the angry, the rapist, the problems? Do you take the good because they have done what they were intended for? Tim enriched so many lives, there is nothing more he can do for anyone? You leave behind the problem people for us….is it to understand more of life, and learn to solve these problems? To teach us? You gave a young man cancer and allowed him to suffer because it was his time to go?”

Then I remember….

No. No you didn’t do that. You have no control in any of this do you? Cancer is just a disease that happens at random. Happens to the good and bad and will most defiantly happen to the rest of us.

I wish I had answers. I wish I knew where Tim was right at this moment. Is he reading as I am writing? Writing, his favorite thing to do, on his computer? Writing about him.

Tim, Tim, Tim… I felt you were around still at first but your absence is becoming too noticeable. It’s making me uneasy. Why can’t you give me a sign? Your baby sister needs you. Your nephews need you. Your mother needs you. Your best friend needs you.

But you can’t help me can you? This is a life lesson, isn’t it? I need to learn on my own. You have accomplished so so so much, how do I follow that up? What am I supposed to do now with myself? 20 years with you, and now I have to spend the next 60 without you. Hardly seems fair.

From here on out, my accomplishments are for you. My attempts to succeed are for your name. I will try and try some more and I will learn in the process. Why ask “What would Jesus Do?” because my real question is “What Would Timmy Do?” I will do what I can to enjoy life for you. Because I know, that’s all you wanted out of yours and others. Enjoyment. You showed us how short this one you get can be, but how much a single person can do in it. Your almost two years with cancer has changed me, and your passing has even more. I miss you so much, and I need help now more then ever. Please, please hear me. Please let me know you are better. Please let me know you are happy. Please don’t leave me alone here.

Please help my hurt and helpless feeling go away.

I love you, and I miss you for always. Thank you for being the best, smartest and funniest big brother anyone could ever have. Thank you for teaching me everything you did. Thank you for always sticking up for me. 1 month down, only719 to go until I can see you again. ❤

Timothy James Gage 6/6/1979-3/17/2010

(P.S. I know this blog is sort of all over the place. I feel I have so much to say, but I don’t know how to properly write it. It just takes practice and skill to get to the writing potential I need to be at.)

Changes.

It’s been two years since my last post. Two long years that have changed my very living, my heart and my soul. These two years have changed who I am today, who I will become and how my one life I get to live will be lived. The once 19 year old girl who started writing here is now a completely different 21 year old women. Completely different, but still trapped in a haze of “Who Am I?”.  The blog “The Real April Rayne” is going for a completely different feel now.  I wont hold back any info, and maybe together we can figure out who the real April Rayne Gage is.

So there is this rumor going around that I decided to start.  The water in Anoka has something in it. Only I am pretty sure it is true. Why? I got my reasons!

Everyone is pregnant or engaged. At first it was lots of high school girls getting pregnant, and I could only conclude that it was the new cookies at Anoka High school (They went from giant, delicious and moist to small, hard and wtf is that?)

But now, a year and a half after I have graduated, not only is there a handful of girls who I still remember playing four square with in elementry school having babies (Or already had them), but suddenly, everyones engaged too! Is there a memo I missed? Do these people know something I don’t? Is the world ending soon?

There is a GIANT handful of 19/20 year old girls I graduated with engaged, and at first, I didn’t care. Thats their lives. Its none of my business. But in TWO days, I was informed of people I was close to or knew getting engaged. On monday, one of my best friends dropped to me that she was now engaged. We saw it coming, and I actually reallllllly didn’t want her to say yes and spent some time trying to make her realize that it MIGHT not be her best idea. Whatever, she said yes, I was confused and a little dazed by it, still, nothing I can do. And then on tuesday, a girl whom I still adore and was once in a show with tells me she is ALSO engaged.

…….huh?

Here is my favorite part. Both her and my best friend haven’t been with the guys or KNOWN them for even a year. Now I shouldn’t judge, love does crazy things and it blinds people and blah blah blah and it could work out for them but….. what is the rush?

Oh! Then another friend drops the word to me that his ex boyfriend is engaged. I don’t REALLY know him at all, but when he told me that on the same day I began banging my head into the keyboard.

My favorite gay man imed me also, he just started seeing someone and right away says….

Gaysian: “AHHH!! I’m SO EXCITED!!!”

Me: “I swear to god, if you are engaged, next time I work I WILL put a pizza cutter to my throat and just have someone do my dirty work, I swear to god gaysian!”

Gaysian: “No, the girls are throwing an ugly Christmas sweater party!”

Oh…. well… yay! lol. Thank god. (P.S hes not even asian but we call him gaysian haha).

What I am trying to get at is… well I don’t know how to put it into words. I am jealous to the max, but then I am not. I in no way shape or form, by all means, want to get married right now. But, with everyone getting engaged they are making me feel like that sad, pathetic old lady in the 1900s who has never been married and everyone just avoids for that reason. I feel like suddenly I am behind in life, and I SHOULDN’T have to feel like that at 19!!! But I do…..

I work two/three days a week as a small time waitress. I don’t go to school, I don’t have my own car, I don’t have my own place, my own husband or my own kids. And technically I shouldn’t have that stuff (except maybe a car. And school) but everyone I know has all of it and I am extremely jealous. Suddenly I am looking at rings at the mall jewelry store wondering when it will happen for me. The last few times I have walked to work its left me with a long time to stare at the passing houses on the lake and wonder if I will have a home on a lake, with a swing set in the backyard and a screened in patio where I will hold bbqs in the summer with family and friends.

I have so much life to live and I shouldn’t be thinking like this, I wish people would stop making me feel like I need to rush my life. I wish I didn’t feel this way. We’re young and we should be having fun. Underage drinking, driving with the windows down to crappy music, drinking our energy drinks and eating candy because we have high metabolisms right now. We should be going to the clubs or having bonfires and flirting and spending our money on pointless crap. But apparently everyone is in such a hurry to grow up.

But to be nice, best of luck to ALLLL those engaged 20 year olds.