Tuesday, December 14, 2010

i thought it was strange, you said everything changed

The final hours of my teenage life are coming to a close. By the time I wake up in the morning, I will be twenty years old. Ugh, twenty. I can’t even begin to wrap my head around it.
This is the single most depressing event that has happened to me in a long time. To me, birthdays are always similar to New Year’s – they are always hyped up to be something great, but they always just end up making you disappointed. Because as many times as you tell yourself that you don’t care, that it’s just a day like any other, there is a secret part of you – the part that makes you feel butterflies in your stomach when the most-out-of-your-league guy in the universe walks past you, the part that always hopes for an A right before you find out you got a B, the part that makes you cross your fingers and wish to win an award even when you’re pretty sure you weren’t even nominated … basically the part of you that you never want to acknowledge – that part is telling you that this year could be something different.
You are supposed to feel special and recognized on your birthday – it’s your day, after all! The one day out of the entire year that people should lavish attention on you. But that is never truly the case for me.
Getting older has always seemed so depressing and un-celebratory to me. Its one of the few things Bella Swan and I have in common. Except my desire to stay young has nothing to do with wanting to get busy with a member of the undead.
Besides the fact that no exciting privilege comes along with turning the big 2-0, this is such a sad number for me to be at. When I was a precociously OCD little girl, I made goals for myself, I structured my life by the things I wanted to do according to each year of my life. These goals were usually outlandish and nearly impossible, but hey what’s all too new with that? I promised myself that I would become a success by twenty years old. I have no clue why I chose twenty to be the peak of my achievements, but it was probably because I assumed youth ended once entering your twenties. But with the looming arrival of my twentieth year, I don’t feel any different from any other day.
Being twenty is particularly troubling for me because in so many of the biographies that I’ve read, the person has achieved something stellar by the age of nineteen. By nineteen, Rimbaud has already written his greatest masterpieces. Marie Antoinette became the Queen of France. Marianne Faithfull had already gotten married, had a kid, slept with three Rolling Stones, and was shacking up with Mick by the time she was nineteen. Pattie Boyd was a famous model and being lusted after by George freaking Harrison. And I’m pretty sure Lindsay Lohan already had at least one or two breakdowns at nineteen.
Even the less high-profile people that I admire had done something when they were younger than me. Catherine James was living (platonically) with Eric Clapton, helping him cope with his unrequited love for Pattie. Bebe Buell was signed to Ford Models and being wooed by Todd Rundgren (not my cup of tea, but still – it’s the principal of the matter). I, on the other hand, was not crushed on by any musicians, nor was I even asked to move in with any of them to help them do the dishes!
And the time comes closer when I have to give up my title as a nineteen-year-old, I’m forced to ask myself: where am I? Who am I? 


Kirby said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I really feel like I just read my own journal. I'm 21 now and just like you I read all of these books and I think to myself "I NEED TO DO SOMETHING!!" I need to leave my mark on this world, as cliche as that sounds. I want to do something special and I realize that a lot of the "greats" have already been there done that by my age. I do have this eternal dreamer/ optimist inside of me and I never want to give up hope. I always end up crying on my birthday, it has become sort of a tradition. There is one part of me where I want everyone to stop and celebrate but then there is the other part of me that wants to hide in a hole. All that being said... Happy Birthday!

In response to your comment -- It is nice to find some southern gals on here! So many girls I know just want to be the housewife of an old football hero here as well! Exactly! The city where I'm from is where Courteney Cox is from as well. She went to my high school. We have the same last name but, no relation. Don't worry about the long comments! I love reading them!

JessM said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm turning 23 in January.
I totally know how you're feeling... I always compare myself to all my famous 1960's heroes and get depressed when I think about it. George Harrison was 17 when he joined the Beatles.. 17!
But then I also think of Grace Slick who was 27 when she joined Jefferson Airplane and I get a little but of hope. haha

One a side note, I listened to Sugar Mountain by Neil Young over and over again on my 20th birthday.
"You can't be twenty on sugar mountain; though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon"

SummerBaby said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I agree,It is very painful leaving your teenage years ...I was twenty in July all I did was cry and watch a documentary on Quincy Jones(Not sure why i did that lol)...Who had success very young,which is slightly depressing.xxx

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wait until you get towards the end of your 20's and are a few months shy of, *gulp* 30. Sure there are a lot of things I could have accomplished by now (being an art director for an animated show, a few illustrated books, kids) but haven't, so you know what? I'm still going to work towards my goals and be happy with what I have achieved, (going to art school, moving to NYC, getting animation jobs and making friends who share love for the same things I do, meeting an awesome guy and mostly becoming a better person by living and learning.)

Age is becoming less important, people are living longer, and fame and success keep changing with how public our lives have become and easy to share, (facebook, youtube, reality tv..is that really success?) Also, I think "becoming an adult," as in a career, marriage, success etc is much different than it was for previous generations because of many factors, society, economics and just culture evolving. Don't be too hard on yourself, as long as you always have goals and passion, who cares if you complete them by a certain age? Do you think any of the amazing artists/icons that you blog about though "man I hope I have a hit record before I'm 18?" or just "I hope to have a hit record. Period." Just go with the flow and enjoy the ride. (PS, I love your blog)

belle said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

OMG I wrote a post very similar to this on my own blog. I am 21 right now and I feel as though I missed on so much in my teenage years. I wake up every morning wishing I could turn back time. BTW I am now following you. I am thinking about getting big blunt bangs and your blog caught my attention : )

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Patti Smith was 30 when she recorded HORSES and she still is as great as ever.

Eminem was over 30 when anybody took notice of him.

Dire Straits - don't like them, but still - became famous well into their fourties, I think.

Think about Ibrahim Ferrer and all the great blues men and women.

Youth is overrated. There is a kind of deliberate beauty in maturing slowly.

People who peaked early often hadn't done much of anything interesting for the rest of their lives. What was the point to Anita Pallenberg after 1972? How many albums would have Marianne Faithfull recorded after her 'comeback' if people didn't remember her from 'the Jagger years'?

Others became caricatures of their former selves. Just look at The Rolling Stones over the last 30-odd years.

They peaked and then lost it.
Follow your own path. Peak at your own time. When you're ready.

By the way - happy birthday, fellow Sagittarius. I've always thought that birthdays are not so that people lavish attention on you but so that you take the time to celebrate the fact that you're alive. Be good to yourself. Love your blog :-)

P.S. And yes, getting older also freaks the hell out of me.

Alexis said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love this. "Peak at your own time." So true - it's so easy to lose sight of the fact that we have so much control over our destinies, especially when life seems to be dealing all the cards.
Thank you all for your superb comments and commiserations during my (well it's not even a quarter-life crisis, is it?) ... 1/20th life crisis