Happy Birthday to Me!
Today is the anniversary of my entrance into the world. I’m 22 now, and I’m not sure what to make of it.
I don’t know how to feel about being 22, really. There’s no milestone, and I’m not sure if it’s proper for someone of my age to still be excited about their birthday or not.
I’m also not sure if I’ve met my life’s expectations for this age or not, because they’ve changed so many times.
I once thought I’d be in grad school.
Once thought I’d have a husband, a dog, a front porch, and a three-year-old by now.
Once thought I’d never make it to 22 anyway, because it just seemed soooooooo old.
Once imagined myself living blissfully in a three-story house with my two best friends, with a gigantic garden and a kool-aid fountain.
Once imagined myself a symphony bass clarinetist, a harpist, a violinist.
Once thought I’d be a nomad, wandering the many fascinating and untold nooks and crannies of the globe, living out of a backpack and off the kindness of strangers and whatever I could make from odd jobs here and there.
Thought I’d be so many things- some of them all at once, some of them just as flickers of fantasy, and some were long-term goals. I’m not any of those things, but I am fantastic, in my opinion 🙂
It seems like 22 is one of those awkward ages where your life is hovering on decisions to be made, waiting to begin writing your adulthood, but without a “significant” number to go with it. It’s not 13, when you’re finally a teenager, or 16, when you can get your license to drive, or 18 when “you don’t have to listen to your parents anymore,” or any of that.
I got a little bit of a jump on it by getting married young- these days, any marriage under the age of 23 is considered young, which is understandable, given what I’ve seen in my generation. Some people just aren’t ready, for whatever reason, and that’s up to them. Some of them have been fooled into what we feel are stupid reasons to wait- like money, or getting a job first, but again, those are things they need to consider themselves. We said we’ve got love and a plan and we’ll work with that, but that’s not for everyone, and that’s fine. But it means we’ve already cemented at least part of our adult lives; who we want to spend them with and who we’re going to flesh out plans with- kids, homes, all of that. It has saved us from getting separate jobs and then going “OK, who’s moving to whom now?”
I can’t help thinking about where the women in my family before me were when they were 22. My parents hadn’t even met yet; they were 25ish when they got married after about a year of being together and had me two years later. My maternal grandparents were married with one child and maybe the second on the way.
I know one thing’s sure about birthdays; the more I have, the more I feel the need to make real connections to people- family and friends and those people I haven’t met yet that will be friends. It’s a little strange, but I’m alright with that. It’s our connections that make us people, in the end- the ones we make, the ones we keep, and the ones we burn as hard and fast as we can. But you can’t ever really end a connection that has been made. It’s a permanent thing in our impermanent existences, and I love that.
Now then, off to begin assembling some cookies- lovely little witch hats I found on Pinterest -for a gathering of friends this evening.
- Posted in: Seasonal