I am exhausted.
Not only have I had extensive physical activity today, but for the past week my schedule has been so crammed full that I’ve hardly had any time for myself. I took time yesterday to read for pleasure for once in my life, a luxury that’s been absent for more than a month now. With school, extra-curriculars, and homework every day, it’s hard to find time even to sleep.
One reason I’ve been so swamped is because, yes, my birthday is on Tuesday—and I don’t want to have to do homework on my birthday. I’m turning 20. This is scary.
It’s scary because 20 has always seemed like the tipping point into true adulthood. It’s not a major milestone beyond leaving teenage years, but it has always seemed that way to me. The 20’s are the years when things start really happening in life. College graduation. Getting a real job. Living on your own. Maybe finding that person you’re supposed to be with for the rest of your life.
I don’t feel like I’m ready for that yet. I feel like I’m not supposed to be 20.
Birthdays, I’ve found, are a lot different now. In high school, it was an occasion. People brought you cookies. Classes sang for you. People wished you a happy birthday everywhere you went. In college, and in adult life, things are different. Nobody knows that this day is anything but normal. Life goes on. Teachers will still be hard on you.
I think people, as they get older, want to forget that birthdays even exist. What’s one more tally mark on the board?
The thing is, each one of those tally marks means something. It means you’ve survived. It means you have turned one more page in life.
I’m going to treat it that way. I’m going to celebrate, even if it’s just by curling up in my bed and reading a few more chapters of my book.
But first I’ve got to finish all of this homework.