Thursday, August 20, 2009


So, as of AUGUST 19 2009, I am officially by the laws of science, twenty years old.!

Well, I had an incredible birthday yesterday! I still can't believe I'm not a teenager anymore. I feel so OLD, like all of a sudden I need to turn into this wholly self-sufficient, responsible human being, and let me tell you, I am far, well not too far from that.

Yesterday, something momentous happened: I turned 20. Bye bye teenage years. Years that I can say I was not able to enjoy to the fullest. I was busy following my parents instructions and staying at home. 20 is an important age. When your twenty years old your practically an adult...

My friend, whose birthday falls a month before mine, also turned 20. She and I joked about how we have successfully eliminated the danger of teenage pregnancy and laughed about how old we felt. But underneath my smile, I felt a little terrified.

Twenty. The first digit of my age has changed. I am now closer to 40 than to zero.It’s not that I suddenly feel old, but it’s that I am suddenly acutely aware of the expectation for me to act my age, to mature into a confident, composed adult. And that expectation is one of the scariest things I can imagine.

To me, adulthood brings to mind a scattering of random ideas and concepts. I think the thing to do is to spend less time contemplating the process of growing up and more time simply living life. Maybe being an adult means not thinking about what it means to be an adult.

When I was a teenager, one of my biggest fears was never talked about by my parents or teachers or friends. It was the fear of writing the first five words of this paragraph -- "when I was a teenager.

No one warns you that you might develop a fear of turning 20. As a child, my birthday was my favorite day of the year and I would count the days leading up to it with joyful anticipation.
Teenage birthdays bring a special thrill. In United States of America, at Sweet Sixteen you can get your driver's license. At 17 you are able to see R-rated movies. At 18 you can vote, legally declare independence from your parents, sign forms on your own, buy cigarettes.

Then comes 20. You aren't really an adult yet, but after seven long years, suddenly you are no longer a teenager either. You are in your -- yikes -- 20s.

Many people enter their 20s having no long-term goals. I had plenty. But then I turned 20, and I still didn't know how to change a tire or start a fire. I could barely cook or sew. I understood very little about government and politics. I didn't know how to straighten or curling my hair or put on eyeliner. I didn't know CPR. I couldn't imagine raising a child.

As I watch friend after friend approach the big two-oh, I realize this is a widespread fear. All we want is to turn 21 until we realize we're about to lose our teenage years.

Yesterday, my friends give me a surprise celebration in our school. One of my friends knew about how I feel hating about AUGUST 19 to come. But she shared to me her first step toward acceptance was changing the name of the dreaded year to "twenteen." That way it doesn't seem quite so scary. lols!

My 20th birthday came and went, and once I'd made it past the big day, I realized that nothing was different at all. I was still a college student who was financially dependent on her parents. I was still a minor when it came to alcohol. No one's expectations for me had changed.
Still, I'm pleased to be only 20 and to know you're reading what I have to say, even if I can't celebrate with a glass of wine.

Cheers to COCA COLA! ^_^


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