Back when I thought the website Ghost was the most beautiful blog hosting service I had ever seen, I wrote this post:
Two Months Until Twenty
09 JULY 2015
The teenage years are so heavily emphasized.
The early teenage years begged to be forgotten, but not in retrospect.
The later teen years had us thinking that we had it all figured out. And it felt pretty good to feel that way. We had more freedom, more responsibility, and more of a sense of self.
We also had countless books, movies, TV shows dedicated to the way that we felt in that time. We had songs we could- or could not relate to. (I stopped relating to music about junior year of high school) But nonetheless, the world screamed our importance.
Now, I’m two months until I turn twenty years old. It’s kind of crazy. It has seemed like I spent so long being a teenager, but I never bought into the hype that high school is the best time of life. It’s only four years- I’d be pretty disappointed if the rest of my life didn’t match up to high school. I’m expecting it to be fantastic at every turn.
My first year of college helped me to quietly but fiercely understand and establish my own importance. Life doesn’t stop here. It’s just beginning. With the lessons that I’ve learned, the people that I’ve met, and the family that I have, I’m excited about my twenties.
I’m also excited about my thirties, my forties, my fifties, and so on.
Life doesn’t stop when you get older. Sometimes, most of the time, the media screams that message at us too.
We don’t need to look younger. We don’t need to feel younger. That makes being older into a negative, and it’s not.
From where I am and where I’ll be, getting older looks pretty dang good to me.
I wasn’t sure what I wanted to say about twenty-two. I haven’t really sat down and thought about it. A list of twenty-two things I hope to accomplish? A list of things I learned in the twenty-first year? I just wanted to write something- to commemorate it. Because I may be chill about it, but it’s also just that the days move and there are things to be done and birthday celebrations and deep reflections about them get pushed to the side. I’ve also always been very indecisive (s/o to the science and girl aisles at Toys R Us that saw me peruse their selections for hours) and so that added to not knowing what to say/do for my birthday.
However, this is how I think I might approach it now:
After class, my friend Jordan and I went to the lair, LMU’s cafeteria. We talked about his previous birthday and what he did for it. While we were talking about this, he said something that increased in depth the more I thought about it. He looks at his birthdays more so as celebrations of the previous year. Not as preparing for the upcoming. And I like that. It does fit with my new outlook on things. I’m not nervous or anxious about the future. I’m excited for its unknowns and for what hasn’t happened yet. I’m cruising in it. So, maybe instead of twenty-two things I want to accomplish (which I don’t have anyway. I’ve got like three), I’ll think about what twenty-one taught me. And also what twenty did. They were rough years, as this blog knows, but if I hadn’t been there, I wouldn’t be here. And here is a good place to be.
The earlier blog post really was an epiphany. Getting older isn’t a bad thing. Staying young isn’t an inherently good thing. Your life is as you make it (withstanding heavy consequences placed in your path). I still hope for the rest of my life to be the very best of my life.
These past four years of college better not have been the best, and they aren’t going to be. It’s interesting how these two bookend posts are somewhat full circle. I’m not exactly in the same mindset as I was when I was nineteen, but I like it again. (OOH THE TIME IS 9:07 S/O TO TOMORROW AND MY VIRGO-NESS- anyway) I am back to being more confident. I’m back to know yourself, know your worth. I’m interested in things. It’s nice nice nice. And I’m about to bike back to my beloved LMU to write poetry with my lovely friend Melissa. And I get to write poetry about revolutionary things. I liked straying away from my irate Facebook posts and taking time to write about anything else. But I’m excited to get into this poetry. Because I have a lot to say, and twenty-two will be more of saying it and remembering that I am not only twenty-two but I am all of the ages that have come before it.
I am the girl that speaks in grade years.
that song came out in third grade
my humps, my humps, my lovely lady lumps
when MTV was all of my attention
and VH1 was its weird cousin
before it changed into love and hip hop
I didn’t love hip hop
except when it was with my brother
and then I was sad when he started to like rock
because alternative was mine
and he didn’t like that
but more importantly,
he didn’t like hip hop
and it signaled a giving up of an identity
and this happened at the same time
that I decided I may not be able to understand lifestyle hauskambmbm
alright doodle bob
but I could groove along
fruit salad wiggles
the show we never liked
it is both of us with matching pacifiers
I’m wearing mine horizontal
and he opts for verticals
it’s getting braces off in ninth grade
and just a dream orienting my whole year
it’s first time heart breaks after being in
what I thought was love
it’s first time loss of motivation
after taking home all the trophies but two
it’s being cheerful but not feeling it
it’s not watching clouds anymore
it’s passing flowers and never knowing their names
it’s seeing a dandelion and still wishing anyway
it’s a first tattoo after I decided I hated flowers
because they always died
which is an idea I got from a friend
but it made sense to me
it’s a tattoo that didn’t hurt but felt like a knife
and still looks cool to this day
it’s hating italian sausage and angel hair spaghetti
because it made me puke
and loving pan as a college freshmen when it was okay in eleventh grade
it’s new parts of me
and old parts of me
it’s one and two and thirteen
wintergirls and speak
laurie halse and sarah dessen
bukowski and criminal minds
and finding less enjoyable ways to pass the time
11:11 after years have gone by
it’s full circle and half circle and being born under a full moon
Thank you twenty-one. At times, I hated you, and I made that known. It wasn’t really you though. Let’s just say it was 2016 and a lil of 2017 and some of 2015. But you gave me lessons and great people and great interests. And I’d never turn my back on you again. Time for twenty-two to step in. But you’ll always be with me. Sandra Cisneros style. Also Aashna Malpani style.
Things to do:
- Finish learning Indonesian
- Go to Indonesia
- Graduate with the pride of a lion and the heart of a hummingbird
I’ll keep myself updated.
Much love – now and always,