Coming to Terms

I like to come up with interesting titles. For me, they always made some kind of sense. What I come up with doesn’t always click with others.

It’s 13 minutes past midnight as I started writing this. I’m not sure what I should classify it as. A post? An article? But I’ve just put away my laundry and am getting ready to bed, so that should be the least of my concerns.

My birthday is coming up soon. I’ll be 21st in a week’s time. It’s a strange concept I have to come to terms with. It had seem like moments ago when I was dreading turning 21, because I was afraid of the election that would have to participate in when I am of age to vote. Sometimes, when I can just delude myself, I’d think it had been only yesterday when I couldn’t wait to be 21 – because I’d be an adult and have rights. And also, far more commonly, I’d be able to drink.

But I’d never wanted to drink. I’d lived all of my life around smokers. I’d smelled my father once, when he had one too many Heinekens. I didn’t like the smell, and whenever I thought of drinking, it never appealed to me.

And during the last hour or so of researching what to do on my 21st birthday, many of the articles included drinking. I think because I was tired and feeling all too alone, I considered it. Drinking parties, drinking games, everything that included drinking.

What you believe as a child and what you believe as an adult are often very different things. One belief that I carried to this day, and has come up in conversations, is that I am different from others. It wasn’t the ‘I’m a special snowflake’ concept that stereotypically millenials are fed. I genuinely had and still feel that I am different, exempt and separate from others. There is always this invisible line between me and others, like two frequencies trying to connect, but often missing each other.

You might be asking why frequencies and drinking are a link. Because I miss the connection with others. I often feel, during a conversation, that I am overpowering others as I speak. Everytime I open my mouth, I worry that I may say the wrong word, say too much, or say too little, and it would turn people off. I am needy. I cling to people who show care for me and bother to guide me. I do that because where I am, in my head, in my books and my writing, I am more alone than I can stand.

Drinking is a way to oblivion. Where your senses can be numbed and your feelings washed away by each burning shot. I have craved that oblivion, where you don’t need to care if you are a success, if you are a failure, or if you actually get a chance to go into a university. But also, I craved company. It was no longer enough for me to be in my head, in my books and writing, spinning and spinning away on characters, storylines and dialogue. Because who could see into my steaming, whirling little mind and think I matter? Who would bother? Because no one would bother unless you type the words out; all the seething paragraphs of streams of thoughts running through your head. So fast that sometimes you forget before you could even think to remember. So much that sometimes you feel that you cannot keep up.

But drinking also allows people to socialize.

I have no problems speaking to strangers.

Why, right now I am speaking to strangers. I am typing to an unknown person, who might or might not answer back from what is the overwhelming cycle of Internet. I am typing, in hopes of a connection. I am typing and wondering what should I do for my 21st birthday; because to do nothing would be a shame – I would have no stories to tell when the time comes and my children ask me for advice, the way I did with my mother – and to do something, well, what should I do? There are list upon lists of suggestions – but what should I do that would truly make my 21st birthday memorable?

The first thing that comes to my head is to fall in love.

Recently, I spoke to two older people whom, after a very long conversation, suggested that for now, I do not date. Instead I should focus on getting better, to make peace with my past and move on. They tell me that I’m trapped in the past. Although I looked fine and sounded fine, but there was a big red button somewhere deep inside me, and I had no idea what would trigger it, or what would happen. And that worried me, and stopped me in my tracks.

I couldn’t afford to implode. I simply couldn’t. I need to do (a), (b), (c), (d), and all the way to (z). I had a huge list of things that I needed to do, but nearly all were out of my control, and had no one to help share the burden with.

I was raised in a toxic environment. I wouldn’t say it was all bad – I had a good mother – but it wasn’t roses and daisies. I have my own share of darkness, pain and anger – all repressed thanks to good old Mother Nature; can’t have her little creations stop working simply because they can’t deal with the shadows and smudges life gives you in baskets. It wasn’t enough that we had the seven deadly sins. There just had to be humanity.

But I’m starting to complain, and even I hate complaining.

After so many paragraphs and pouring of my troubles of the week, I still have no idea what I should do on my 21st birthday. To fall in love by my 21st birthday seems to be asking a little too much, especially since I am not good at asking for anything other than makeup or books.

I started this thinking that it was about just figuring out my 21st birthday. Looks like it turned into something else. I’d considered a staycation, but I’ve not even decided how many people I want at the ‘party’, if there is one. I dunno, why does there seem to be such a big emphasis on the 21st birthday? You get to get drunk and not be arrested for underage drinking, you can vote on elections, you have rights and you can start owning a house. It’s not such a big deal.

Maybe I will go the way I’ve gone with my 16th and 18th birthday – dinner/lunch and movies. I’d watched Hansel and Gretel : Witch Hunters for my 16th birthday and American Hustle for my 18th. I’d lucked out on my 18th birthday; I think because it’s also the day I was born. I hadn’t been so lucky otherwise. I didn’t fall in love magically, my grades didn’t get better and my mental health slowly, but steadily got worse.

So what have you done on your 16th, 18th and 21st birthday? Leave your bias and judgement out of it, but your comments down below;d

***

Maybe I’ll do one of this every year…hmmm

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2 thoughts on “Coming to Terms

  1. I don’t do much on my birthday’s. Dinner with my nuclear family has been the theme, for me as well as my two siblings. Birthday’s are all hyped up like they’re supposed to be special, but I think the only really special day was your ACTUAL day of birth. All other dates are pretty much arbitrary because I’ve felt more special about myself on days nowhere near my birthday’s and I’ve felt nothing on birthday’s as well. Maybe you could use your birthday as a Kickstarter for positive personal feats. If you do plan to go the intoxicated route, get your best friends together, settle in a room and revel in each other’s company until you’re all fast asleep, that’s how I would be spending my 21 if I were you.

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