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?