So I turned twenty-six this year, and I’ve been realizing that for as much as I’ve grown as a person, there are a lot of ways in which I’ve regressed. Sometimes I’m convinced I had things more put-together as a kid because there are so many things that I was better at back then.
- Appreciating the little things, like being genuinely excited about getting a garbage can for my birthday. (To be fair, it had a cat on the other side.) I also was very excited about my Pocahontas cake and couldn’t understand what my mom was so mad about. I wish I still had that sort of vision now. If you squint a little bit, maybe the Pocahontas cake of life is actually delicious.
What I wouldn’t give for cakes to still be decorated by hand like this. The next year’s Esmeralda cake was even better.
- Asking for help when I needed it. (This look was my subtle “PLEASE GET ME OUT OF HERE” distress call to mom and dad.) Sometimes it’s even hard to ask people for things like a listening ear when I need to talk. Which is crazy, because I have great friends who I know wouldn’t mind, and I’d love to do the same for them.
- Turning exercise into something fun. Look at that! I practically had a six pack! I never “exercised” in those days—I played tag, jumped on a trampoline, hopped along to sing-along tapes. I run now because it makes me feel better afterwards, but I hate it. And I sure as heck don’t have a six pack.
- Not pretending about my feelings, in this case my negative feelings towards pointy shoulder pads. I’m not saying that this otherwise nice family photo was necessarily the right time to take a stand for something, but at some point, you have to assert yourself.
- Having my own definition of cool. My mom warned me this pose was going to be weird, and I just didn’t care. I’ve made great strides in this area (since, say, high school), but it’s not as effortless as it was back then. Sometimes I feel pressure even when people don’t actually voice their opinions. There’s this sort of unspoken expectation for how much money you should make, what kind of job you should have, when you should get married/have kids/appear to have things figured out. But life isn’t one-size-fits-all, and sometimes the path less taken is exactly the right one for you.
What I’m Listening to: Incomplete by Backstreet Boys
Clint Eastwood by Gorillaz