Thursday, June 17, 2010

"Birthdales"

I turned 20 years old today. It doesn't feel that weird now that the day is actually here, but in the past few weeks I've been thinking a lot about what this age means for me. I remember Joe saying of his 20th birthday, "Now all the things I do and I like aren't exceptional for me anymore. Now they're just normal 20-something things." That's a little how I'm feeling too--for the past 8 years or so, I've strongly identified with the feeling of being an older person trapped in a younger person's life. I've fought hard to prove my worth and my intelligence to the (adult) world around me, and now that I'm about to enter that world I'm not quite sure how to handle it. I've been feeling so ambitious lately--I'm constantly thinking about what kind of apartment I'd like to live in, what college courses I'll be taking in 2 years, where to travel, where I'll go to graduate school, what sort of internships I need to have to get the jobs I want, what I want my kitchen to look like. I fantasize about being a "real adult" all the time, but I still get find myself passionately defending teenagers just like I did when I was 16. Being a young person has been a huge part of how I think about myself and my position in the world up until now; it's played a role in my personal relationships, my attitude towards school, developing my politics, and everything else. I know that 20 isn't over the hill exactly, but I have to admit that I'm a little uncomfortable with the idea of no one telling me "you're so _____ for you age" any more. This is all admittedly superficial and selfish, but hey, I can be that way on my birthday right?

So far today I've woken up late to a hot sunny day, hung out on the patio, eaten a delicious Japanese lunch at Midori's, and donned my new bathing suit to lie out in my backyard and read my whale book. Now I'm on my newly built bed, listening to the awesome women's soul mix tape Calvin Johnson traded me for some cupcakes a year ago (it's SO. FREAKING. GOOD.). In a few minutes I'll be back with my parents, probably off to get pizza and then to eat the sure-to-be-amazing red velvet birthday cake from Cake Eater. Not bad.

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