There is something so abstract about being twenty-years-old. Throughout my two decades on existing on this earth, I am only able to remember approximately eighty percent of them. My brain has been stuffed with information since the ripe little age of two and there is not a place in this world I do not yearn to go.
This post is three sections that don’t necessarily string together in the most cohesive way, but in my head it all works out, so bear with me.
I have always been a listener, ever since I can remember. Listening to the telephone ring off the hook when nobody wanted to answer it, listening to my brother stem to himself as he played with his toys, listening to the sound of the microwave beeping incessantly to remind me that my nacho-flavored Easy Mac was ready to eat. My dog barking and my mom laughing and my dad snoring—so many sounds filled my life, and I remember them all.
Now, at twenty, I have become well-acquainted with particular sounds that come with being an adult: the keypad on the ATM beeping every time I select “Deposit Check,” the fan above the stove whirring so I don’t set off the smoke detector, the alarm on my phone beeping loudly and repeatedly so I don’t show up late to work.
I want to hear everything…okay that’s a lie, maybe only the good things or the things that will make me a better human being. I want my ears to be engulfed by the sounds of today and I want to be forever curious of how tomorrow will sound. These sounds of being twenty are a daily reminder of not how long I have been alive; rather, they are a reminder of how long I have yet to live.
I have always been a writer, ever since I can remember. I have spent hours upon hours brainstorming for English papers or newspaper articles, and I can remember the first book I ever wrote (let’s just say I had a thing for ponies back in the day). There is something to therapeutic about stringing together letters that form sounds and words and feelings, something to beautiful about turning nothing into something and then being able to take it apart and put it back together once again, differently each time.
I was lying in bed last night thinking about my life and what will come of it. At the age of eleven, after seeing my first episode of Gilmore Girls on ABC Family, I knew I wanted to be a journalist, just like Rory Gilmore. At the age of 13 I found a 1980 World Book encyclopedia set with only four volumes missing, and I would study the history of different universities, running downstairs to tell my parents which ones I wanted to attend. I have wanted this for myself for almost a decade, a textbook life defined by movies and books like His Girl Friday and Harriet the Spy (okay she wasn’t a journalist, but she sure knew how to get a scoop, am I right?).
At twenty, I have realized that a career in writing isn’t just about being a bestselling author or working for the New York Times. It is so much more than producing exactly what an editor wants or working somewhere that will make someone else proud. Writing is passion, it is focus, drive, determination, creativity… Little rockets shoot out of my fingertips every time I write a story, every time I find the right angle or the perfect adjective. My mind runs a million miles per hour on a treadmill staring at a computer screen. Writing is what makes me feel alive, here on this earth at twenty-years-old, and I am happy that I am now understanding that it is okay to feel this way from only a simple blog post, even if only two people read it (cough cough Mom and Chris).
So far, being twenty has been full of firsts. Four months ago, I celebrated my first anniversary with my boyfriend. For the past five months, I have held my first and longest steady job. In a month, I will move into my first apartment. In five months, I will travel to Taiwan for the first time. This may sound so repetitive or selfish, but there are so many milestones I am passing as an adult.
Simultaneously, there is still so much more I am trying to do. I am trying to call my family more, because I miss them and I know they miss me too. I am trying to be more compassionate and understanding, and I am trying not to take things too personally or too seriously. Being twenty is this interesting and exciting, yet awkward limbo between being a legal adult, but not yet being grown up. I can vote but I can’t drink, and I can make important decisions like sign leases and pay taxes, but I am still afraid of the dark and I don’t like being alone. I am mature yet immature, and more often than not I wish my parents could still take care of me, yet I want to make my own choices.
Being twenty is…just that. It just is. And I am coming to terms with the idea that sometimes, it is okay to just…be.
This post felt fragmented and odd and jumbled and not cohesive whatsoever, but it felt good to write, so I’ll press the publish button anyway. Thanks for reading, if you’ve stuck along this far 🙂
PS: Leave me a comment with your thoughts on your age! What is it like to just…be?