You know it’s your twentieth birthday when you wake up and look in the mirror and think, yep. This is the best it’s gonna get. Ten years ago, I was a greasy, acne riddled ten year old who’s only possible trajectory was up.
Whatever. At least next year I can buy booze.
I feel like I should write some sort of reflection piece. Not like, wow, I’m two decades old, and I spent my whole St. Patrick’s day birthday watching drunk people run into lampposts and vomit on the street; I’m so damn inspired. It’s more like I feel obligated to reflect.
Just so we’re on the same page. I mean, I’m writing this on my phone during an intermission at a concert.
Because I’m an artist.
But while I was rocking out and trying to fling my hair in every direction physically possible, I was thinking about identity (as one does). I was thinking about how much I’ve changed. I mean, you might be surprised to hear this, but I was once a zygote. I know, I know, my mom should’ve just chugged some pennyroyal tea and ended this before it began, but she didn’t, so here we are.
Two years ago, I felt like I finally had a sense of self. I was a high school senior, and a proud, self-proclaimed whovian and Supernatural fangirl. At the ripe age of twenty, I have transcended my nerdiness and become a blogger (that like maybe 4 people have ever heard of), a psych major (minoring in Spanish and creative writing), a student organization subcommittee leader (so prestigious, I know), and a poor, impressionable undergraduate forced to do subservient duties in a lab studying psychosis. I’ve gotten into new bands, like the Tune-yards and Death Cab for Cutie, and now, when people ask me what kind of music I’m into, I tell them grungey-alternative-indie stuff. (If I’m wearing my beanie, though, they don’t bother, which is nice, I guess.) I dress a little different. My hair is longer. My outlook on life has changed a little here and there. I barely ever see people I went to high school with that I don’t care about. When I do, I realize that some of the boys that were popular in high school are starting to resemble potatoes, and my shallow, narcissistic ass hopes they see me and think that I’m out of their league.
It’s fine. I’m not spiteful.
If anything, I’m just realizing how much I’ve changed. And yeah, I’m living in this weird turning point in life. I’m in college, I’m not living with my parents full time, and I’m supposed to act like an adult. (Luckily, I look I’m fourteen, so I’m under no obligation to live up to the expectation of the general public. To them I’m just another hormonal, pubescent infant.)
I didn’t wake up one morning and find myself different. Sure, part of the issue is I’ve looked basically the same since I was twelve, but there’s more than that. I remember that when I was younger, I used to stand at the cash register with my parents at the store, and not say a word the whole time. I would just scan the rows of gum and candy bars and on-the-go tubes of Oreos as my parents swiped their credit cards. Now, I feel socially obligated to talk to the cashier, to make myself a part of the interaction. I’m more confident, too. It’s funny; I was never really bullied or mocked in school, just ignored. I spent high school mentally checked out. I wasn’t involved. I wasn’t enthusiastic. I never participated in spirit days, and I went to all of half a football game. My friends and I hung out at each other’s houses, never at school or extra-curricular events. We got good grades and left it at that.
Now I am so involved in college that I honestly don’t remember the last time I got a full night’s sleep. Seriously, I use an alarm on the weekends.
I am a broken woman.
Here’s to twenty years.