The push and pull

Age is a funny thing. I’m 20 years old, and while I sometimes feel like my smooth skin disguises how old I feel, I also nervously nodded my head last week when my mother asked if I wanted her to make an intimidating phone call so I wouldn’t have to. We tend to blur lines and want it all.

I don’t know when I went from sitting on the pavement in front of the flag pole waiting to get picked up from middle school to being roughly 11 months from college graduation and from the fist to the jaw that is “the real world.” And sooner still, on a hot, dusty, September Saturday, I’ll turn 21 in a college town. This all used to feel so far away and is now approaching at increasing speeds.

I often feel older than my college counterparts, usually opting for a lazy night cuddled up with music, candles and my good old laptop over stumbling around town, looking for a house party filled with people I don’t know. While I have done my share of stumbling, I just don’t seem to want to bother to catch up to the ones who nurse hangovers with shiny shot glasses of their chosen poison. I can actually feel the dismay and confusion when I decline an extended invitation to go downtown.

All the while, I am the baby of the group – the one itching to cross the line to 21 while the others are already settled in on the other side. It seems to get very complicated – we spend so much time begging for adulthood to finally hit before attempting to backpedal when that also means finishing college. There’s nowhere to go but forward, and while I’d like to think I am absolutely ready for that, there’s no doubt that I still have trouble believing I’m not 16 anymore.

But it’s not all so serious, as I’d like to see myself as “mature for my age” yet “wild at heart.” And like I said – age is a funny thing.

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