I turned twenty-three last Thursday, and I didn't say anything here because, to be honest, I wasn't terribly excited about it. I didn't mind the birthday part at all--kind gifts, kinder words, a little culture, decadent dinners and desserts. (Thank you, thank you family and friends. You made me feel so special.) But, for the past few birthdays, I've dreaded the getting older part. And believe me I know, I know that at twenty-three my fear of age has arrived about four decades early.
But I understood myself suddenly and surprisingly as I drove home home in the dark this weekend--I'm so afraid of wasting time. If there are things that can only be done in this twenty-third year, I don't want to miss any of them. I'm so afraid that I'm going to miss something, or anything, or everything.
What if I miss the best parts? What if they happen or do not happen and I don't even know it?
And so I just won't, I thought there in my car. I refuse to miss big things and small things and desperate things and frivolous things and the far things and the near things, not any of them. I will set goals, and write manifestos, and just allow myself to want what I want. I will do what I'm supposed to do. I'll be that person, finally.
It was so simple there in my car, in the dark, with my twenty-three year old self.