Sorry Taylor, but I’m feeling twenty-flux.
My twentieth birthday is fast approaching, and much like Christmas and New Year’s, I’m wondering where the hell 2013 went. I don’t feel like I spent enough time being nineteen, even though I obviously did.
I’m in a state of flux about it, really; I go from being elated that I’ll actually be in my twenties, same as all of my friends, and might be taken seriously because now my age lacks that incessant ‘teen’ ending. Following this, I drop to sheer panic, because I don’t feel twenty, not at all, I don’t feel like I’m ready to be in my twenties, and there’s also the fact that people think I look about twenty three now. As in, right now, in my current nineteen-year-old state. (I celebrate when I get carded buying alcohol – hazaar! Someone that doesn’t think I’m old enough to live alone!)
Then there’s the whole, ‘You’ve been alive two decades!’ factor that weirds me out. Two decades is impressive (because ‘decade’ sounds classy), but I feel like I haven’t had enough big achievements. I don’t live alone or out of home, I don’t have my licence (YES I KNOW HOW PATHETIC THAT IS!), I’ve only ever been to one other country (England, the one that speaks English), and I’ve only been to two of our own impressive states, and I don’t think it really counts if you visited as a three month old. I certainly don’t remember Sydney very well. And I haven’t seen any of the ‘big’ things. You know, the Big Pineapple, the Big Banana, the Big Sheep…
Socially, however, big leaps have been made. I talk to people now, I’ll introduce myself, I’ve constructed my own filter between my thoughts and my mouth (which at times still has major flaws), and I not only managed to speak to a boy, but have maintained a three year relationship with same said boy.
And more than that, I’ve learnt that I don’t deserve to take people’s crap. I mean I know I shouldn’t, I’m still working on the practical side of it. I still cop a lot of stuff I really shouldn’t, because a) some of it isn’t my fault, b) I don’t control the trains and buses (ONE DAY I WILL!), c) I can’t help having an Autistic Spectrum disorder (surprise!), and d) even though I’m confident enough to serve customers, sing on stage, introduce myself to people, volunteer for tasks and do a whole other bunch of things, I’m scared. I’m terrified of rejection and humiliation.
That’s when that little voice chimes in and says ‘You’re twenty this year! Suck it up!’
I suppose that’s what worries me the most about turning twenty. You become more of an adult than when you turn eighteen, and you have a lot more responsibility thrown on you. Now as well as having the right to drink, vote, drive and enter clubs and pubs, you have to be a ‘grown-up’. You have to be a big girl (or boy). No one can hold your hand any more. And what’s worse is no one hands out lolly bags at their parties any more either. Seriously, why’d we stop doing that? Who decided bags of free sweets wasn’t a good thing?
Suddenly it’s not good enough to feel sick or tired. You can’t run late for things, you can’t really have ‘bad days’, because you’re an adult, and in the adult world, things don’t stop just because you’re not feeling great. You’re responsible for every single thing in your life, and I’m just lucky I still live with parents that cook dinner and buy all the food (thank you so much for that guys, I love food. And you, of course.), and will sometimes drive me places.
I saw Taylor Swift last night and boy, if anything could make a twenty-something year old feel worse, it’s seeing a twenty four year old performing to a sold out stadium of 47,000 people and looking absolutely beautiful every single second of it. And seemingly having her life together. Almost.
She did these little mini-monologues before some of her songs, and I know not everyone goes for that sort of thing, but her words meant the world to me. They let me know that it was ok to not have my life worked out. It was ok to believe in real love, and it was ok to feel bad sometimes. And most of all, that it was ok to be ‘happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time’. Even if I’m not twenty two, there are some days where I really do feel it.
So. Another decade approaches, and I find myself not quite as I expected. For starters, I’d hoped to have my licence by this November. I have joined a gym and I am making progress, but it’s slow. I haven’t finished my degree and feel a tad nauseous every time someone asks what I’m going to do with it afterwards, because I think I know, but I actually really have no idea. Even though I’m more confident and sure of myself than, say, five years ago, I still have people in my life that maybe don’t always treat me exactly right, and I still let them, and I really, really shouldn’t, regardless of whether I’m twenty or forty five. And even after three years of the most real, wonderful and incredible thing I’ve known, I don’t know if I really know what love is.
I’m heading into my twenties, and even though it’s scary, I think I’ll be ok. It’s meant to be ‘miserable and magical at the same time’, and whilst I’ll spend the next two weeks in flux, I think I’m ready.
Twenty, come at me. Bring it on. I can do it!