Feeling 22

As is generally the case with birthdays, I don’t feel any older than I did yesterday. That may be partially due to the fact that I’ve actually been saying I’m 22 for a while now, which is a habit I got into a few years back. 21 didn’t quite seem to fit anymore, for whatever reason, so I shed it and put on 22 instead. Part of it is also that, simply put, I’m not really any older than I was yesterday–or rather, I’m a day older but no more than that.

Birthdays have always seemed to me to be somewhat irrelevant in the grand scheme of things. That’s probably part of why I’m generally pretty quiet about them. I haven’t done a big birthday for a while now–or at least, not where other people are concerned. I spent last year in Barcelona, wandering the streets on my own and not splitting tapas with anyone. When I got back to Lyon, I got a text from a friend telling me to come over. Something about the way she said it, her insistence that I needed to stop by even though it was late on a Sunday, gave me pause. “Do I have to?” I asked.

“Yes.”

“That’s what I was afraid of.”

My first (and to date, only) surprise party was actually quite enjoyable, but the scene kind of summed up my general approach toward birthdays. I go do something awesome on my own, and then I pick up my life where I left off. My Facebook account doesn’t list my birth date, and I usually don’t mention it to my friends. I make my own birthday cake (which usually isn’t an actual cake). My birthday usually ends up being just another day, albeit one that I can use an excuse to buy new shoes and take a nap and try out a new recipe. And that’s what today was. It felt like a Sunday far more than it felt like a birthday.

Still, who knows what 22 will bring. I’m a month from finishing college, at which point I’ll be pushed out into the real adult world. A year ago, I could have told you more or less where I’d be today; today, I can’t tell you where I’ll be a year from now. I can guess, but it’d be just that: a guess. On November 16, 2015, I could be in DC, working a job not so dissimilar to the one I have now. I could also be in New York or Portland or London, doing something entirely different.

Since you have to have known that I couldn’t write this post without including the following song (which I’ll be singing for the next year, thank you very much), I’ll leave on this note: Whether 22 is happy, free, confused, lonely, or all of the above, I’m looking forward to it.

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