Not sure which was more iconic to celebrate yesterday. Either Jesus coming back from the dead or the fact that I actually made it to 20 years old. I mean who would’ve thought that would happen. I’m pretty sure I came back from the dead a few times too.
A few weeks ago I was thinking about being 19 and almost 20 and whereas I will have finally beat teen pregnancy, I’m going to be halfway to 40. Granted it feels like it took forever to get here but halfway is still halfway. Would I like to go back to start over? Absolutely not. It has taken way too long to get here. But, I’d like a few more months. It seems like the young person’s version of turning 30 & 40 & 50. Basically after you turn 10, every other age ending in a zero scares you.
No one can look at me anymore and roll their eyes saying “Ugh, damn teenager”, or “Wow, your house is filled with teenagers, how do you do it?” to my parents.
It’s not even considered a milestone by the people actually turning 20. Yeah okay, you get to shave the -teen off your age but you still can’t drink, you can’t buy guns, you can still drive and vote. It’s slightly more exciting than 19 but not by much.
Am I still considered a kid? I mean, kids living at home is normal. “Yeah, my 19 year old is coming home from college for the summer.” But now it’s “Yeah, my 20 year old is coming home from college for the summer.” It sounds a lot worse. I can’t get away with ANYTHING anymore.
I like to think about age the same way people think about sex and gender. Sex is biological and gender is your choice. I don’t have another word for age but being 20 doesn’t mean that I’m about to identify as a 20 year old.
Those years with -teen attached to every single number that I’ve celebrated disappears. Two decades I’ve been walking around and doing what? Swimming? Blogging? Studying? Avoiding anything that would make me have to act like an adult?
A few weeks ago for St. Patrick’s Day, I went down to have lunch with my grandpa and he looked at me and said “Wow, 20 years Al.” Internally I was like “Oh shit, Pa. You’re right.” And from that point on, I’ve been avoiding it.
Maybe we should just start the ages over. Every 20 years. That way when you’re 56, you tell people you’re 16. Granted you’d be 16 for the third time but no one’s going to want to try to figure that out.
And so I sit here in the library typing to post this in 5 days wondering how I’m still in school and why I don’t have a full time job.