(Happy birthday TO THE GROUND!)
I’ve been dreading the end of this month.
The end of it marks what Sherlock Holmes (at least the BBC one) might call a “happy return”—an occasion I sadly started to become slightly less excited about after turning 20.
A small part of me wishes it could be like the movies where all my close buds come together to ring in the forthcoming year, sparklers and drinks in hand as we toast to future loves, opportunities and life’s other possibilities.
But I tend to relate more to Blink-182’s “What’s My Age Again?”
In some ways, I feel I’ve met—or even surpassed—some of the expectations that come with “adulting”—I work, pay for car insurance, schedule my own dental/doctor appointments, etc.
But I can think of plenty of scenarios in which I’ve fallen short terms of what I “should have” accomplished by now and it doesn’t put me in a particularly celebratory mood.
The summer season in particular is when I tend to dwell on these things. Summer’s always been a weird time of year in that it’s a very transitional period. School’s out, people come and go their separate ways for college or for travel and other changes are underway in preparation for the next season—fall.
To date, I’ve already experienced some of the changing of leaves.
I’ve bid a few friends farewell as they venture to opposite sides of the country—or in some cases, the globe—to start new chapters.
I’ve loosened my grip when it comes to friends who’ve started getting into serious relationships.
I’ve put some aspirations on hold in favor of more practical decisions.
I’ve let go of friends that no longer wish to be called such.
I’ve let go of any notion that some great romance is coming my way.
I’ve struggled to let go of a loved one whose health is continually declining.
There’s been a hole created in place of the part of me that would normally be happy I made it through another year. While I was busy coming to terms with the above things, I’ve left little room to simply BE my age.
Somewhere in the back of my mind is this nagging thought that this anxious sort of feeling will only increase because that’s what growing up entails—slaying bigger, more menacing dragons with each passing year.
I’m not sure I’m ready for the next 365 days. I question if I’m deserving of any celebration that’s supposed to come with it.
Truth be told, I’m afraid each bite of birthday cake will not go down easy and fear each congenial greeting card will betray me with a paper cut.