From what I’ve read, heard, and seen of the world, your teenage years are the years you spend drowning in heartache and regret, yet somehow you reach the climax of your 19th year pining for every ounce of that agony back just so you don’t have to turn 20.
My Facebook feed is constantly prompting me to read “Things everyone should know before they turn 20” and “Things all 20-somethings regret” (suggestions I rarely follow, might I add), and it just pushes me to wonder what it is about putting a two and a zero together that suddenly makes life so particularly daunting.
While I’ll admit to being influenced by the big two-o in some sense or the other, it certainly isn’t in a way that makes me want to flee back to “When you’re fifteen, and somebody tells you they love you, you’re gonna believe them…” No sir, I’m fine, thank you very much!
Well, see, looking back on my insecure teenage self, I see that I spent precisely five years of my teenage life buried in self-loathing, jealousy, insecurity, and entirely too much bitchiness. It was terrible, and I mean terrible as in abominable, repulsive, egregious, deplorable, and horrifying. I was left with only one year (not even) to snap out of my sorrowful state and get real.
I won’t go into the details of what changes came about when I snapped out of it, for the sake of avoiding regurgitating self-help books and motivational gurus. But all I want to say is that, thinking of my twenties doesn’t make me want to hide in a corner with my tail tucked between my legs.
It makes me picture a time when I can finally take control of my own life; a time when I can finally live up to my own expectations (because, really, that’s when you please yourself and everyone around you the most). When I imagine my twenties, I see myself working hard – not just at school, and not for the sake of competition – but for the sake of thriving on the feeling that hard work and its results inspire. I see myself standing tall and feeling independent. I see myself one step closer to achieving my goal of becoming a writer (whether I write fiction, news, or reviews — whatever). I see myself finally becoming the woman my 13-year-old-self dreamed of: One in control of her own life.
(See what I mean by “sounding like a self-help book”?)