In the middle of everything else that is looming (dissertation, job application deadlines, lease expiring, and, um, you know, moving back home) I was struck by a sudden feeling of shock and panic that I am in fact turning twenty two at the end of this month.

I mean, what? How? When the fuck did THIS happen?

OK, this is essentially my reaction on every birthday, in fact, every six months, since I turned 17. That is perhaps where my brain is stuck at, in terms of my life. But you know what was so strange? For the first time since that epochal age, in this last year, the twenty second year of my life, I’d started to feel okay with my age. I felt 21. I felt like I should and could and goddamit, would be 21 years old. 

But barely have I settled into being 21, that 22 comes right along to fuck things up.

Maybe 21 was okay because of the fact that so many awesome things happened to me when I was 21. Life-changing things. And that’s what 21 is, isn’t it? Being 21 and my idea of what 21 should be matched with each other.

I hated turning 20 because when I was 20 my life was more like an 18-year old’s. 20 is when you’re awesome and cool and chilled. When you start to discover your confidence and wo/man-hood etc. 20 was amazing in an 18-year old kind of way, but I didn’t feel 20.

21, on the other hand, is when, adrift in the sea of life, you start figuring out, a little bit, what you want from it. And that is EXACTLY what happened.

And let me tell you what 22 is. 22 is responsibility and maturity. 22 is starting to Be A Grownup and Live Life and Take Charge. 


Not ready for this folks. Not ready.

And there’s so many things I haven’t experienced that I wanted to before I turned 22.

21 IS GOOD. Can’t I just be 21 forever, universe? Please? If I ignore my birthday and refuse all gifts can I continue to be 21? I’ll let you know when I’m ready for 22. I’ll be SURE to send you that memo.

For the record, I still absolutely judge people who freak out about their birthdays, especially when they’re younger than me/same age as me/ less than 30 years old. I mean, come on. Get over yourself. Stop over-thinking this, and also, vanity is a sin.

I am fully aware that this makes me a hypocrite. But sometimes, children, your brain is a harsh judgmental bitch and your emotions are tempestuous little brats, and they just don’t get along.

What does that make me, a self-aware hypocrite? Interesting. 

I’m just going to shove another depressing thing in here that I really don’t want to talk about but that happened and I feel really terrible about it: my grandfather passed away this month, There will be no birthday chat with him this year. There will be no more chats with him, ever. This is something I am totally avoiding thinking about but that is just in general adding to my over all level of depression about life at the moment. 

Its just hit me I spent an entire blog post being emo about my fear of birthdays and about two sentences on my grandfather passing away. What in the world is the matter with me, anyway? I suppose I just don’t want to make a big deal out of it because if I make a big deal out of it it becomes a big deal and then its all terrible and awful and tears and I really have to get this dissertation and a million other things done this month. Avoidance is key.

Everyone deals with grief in their own way, I guess?

In conclusion: mortality sucketh.

As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods,
They kill us for their sport. 

— King Lear Act 4, scene 1, 32–37

Or, alternatively,

We’re happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time
It’s miserable and magical

. . .

Uh oh!
I don’t know about you
But I’m (NOT REALLY) feeling 22

— “22” by Taylor Swift, blonde country singer and voice of our generation

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