Can I just say, I did not look forward to turning twenty. I mean, as long as I had “teen” in my age’s spelling, I had the right to feel like someone’s baby. which I guess was somewhat comforting because I have never really felt like anyone’s baby. The thought of turning twenty gave me anxiety, butterflies in my stomach, not the beautiful kind. I wanted to throw up just thinking about it. why? Maybe it is because of how old twenty feels. Or maybe it is because of how I have been conditioned to think that I had to get my life together in my twenties. Basically, turning twenty came with so much pressure and for someone who trips while wearing flat shoes at least thrice in a day, turning twenty just didn’t settle nicely with me. The only good thing about turning twenty was that it gave me an excuse to spend money I didn’t have and perhaps write about how uneasy I was. But that was eight months ago. Anyway, I finally got down to it.
Being twenty has been the most beautiful tragedy of my life. As Taylor Swift put it, “we are happy, free,confused and lonely in the best ways. It’s miserable and magical.” Miserable and magical. I cannot think of a more accurate description for these past eight months. Let’s start with the magical bits. While I haven’t had anything grand happen, I have heard many little triumphs and special moments. Like amazing conversations with strangers on Instagram and rib cracking comedy series. And I realize it is a little sad that these are the things I find special. Yeah, my life sucks like that. But really, this is the year that I have learnt to love my own company and even more importantly, my relationship with my best friend has just gotten to another level. You know it is no longer a teenage-go-to-the-movies-do-stupid-things-kind of friendship. It is more of a conscious understanding that life is getting hard and I may not be able to see you as often as I would like to, but it doesn’t matter from which galaxy you are, I am going to be here just loving and supporting the crap out of you. And life could not have given me a better idiot to suffer through life with. And for that, twenty has been magical.
But it has also been miserable. For starters, it is the year I have second guessed everything right from the size of my breasts to my career options. We are raised a certain way, made to believe certain things are important, others irrelevant. We are expected to get certain grades, attend certain schools, take certain courses. We are taught to love and admire certain people, distance ourselves from others. But this is the year all that has been jumbled up. This is the year I have learnt that there is so much more to people than what our parents think of them, their sexual orientation, their bad habits and addictions. This is the year I have learnt that just because someone loves you, it doesn’t mean they know what is best for you. This is the year I have made some painful realizations like just because you love someone, doesn’t mean you have to be in good terms with them. I have learnt to be rational and make decisions with my head and stick by them no matter how many nights i cry over those decisions. It is the year I have learnt to fight for what i want. to say no mean it even if I feel guilty about it. I have learnt to be a little selfish and put myself first. I have learnt that just because I like a guy doesn’t mean I have to be with them. If they are bad for me, I have to find a way to get over them. I could go on and on. but my point is, while these things seem like good things, the process of learning these lessons was pure and utter misery.
But I do no want to bore you with lessons. Because as I said I haven’t enjoyed learning these lessons. What I enjoyed however as the illusion that turning twenty would change my fortunes. I thought twenty was the year i would get to do something more with my writing. Something more than just posting my somewhat uncensored thoughts on a blog. I thought it was the year I’d learn to love the course I take in school. And on nights more delusional than others, I thought I was the year I got a boyfriend. Scratch that. Let’s call it present admirer. Let me explain that. I am not really into this thing people do and call relationships. Because everything is way too casual. And I have accepted that I won’t find the relationship I want from a college boy. because I want consistency and assurance and friendship. I want a guy who wants to hear my thoughts and basically just love me for my intelligence above anything else. So no, I didn’t really want a boyfriend, but I wanted to feel wanted. I wanted at the very least, someone to ferociously hit on me. Someone to make saying no, a little hard. But instead I got perverts on the street crudely telling me I have nice breasts, I got random waiters telling me I have kissable lips, I got chauvinists telling me I’m too intimidating as a woman, I got acquaintances telling me I have a scary aura and strangers telling me I have piercing eyes.
So while I expected so much out of twenty, all i became was a woman wishing I had smaller breasts, a woman scared to put on lipstick a woman scared to wear feminine clothes. Twenty in a way has made me want to disappear. Because somewhere along these eight months, a thought has managed to creep and settle at the back of my mind, slowly growing into an insecurity; that maybe I’m not that good a writer, that bright a student or that attractive a woman. That perhaps after all, I am just as average as everyone else. But maybe that is the beauty of being twenty. I will probably cry myself to sleep today, but I might wake up with vigour and an incredible love of life tomorrow. Maybe.