Note: A lot of this is unedited. And only the first part above the horizontal line is necessary to read, the rest is for my archives.
I am 19 going on 20
Amanda is a trendy teen no more!
It’s weird because today is/was my last day of being a teenager. I feel like that’s supposed to be important, but it’s not, really. My roommate Rebecca said once that if Taylor Swift didn’t write a song about it, then it’s an insignificant age. (So basically it only matters if you’re turning 15 or 22.) So turning 20 doesn’t matter. What it feels like is when I was 9 and about to turn 10 and everyone sent me birthday cards that said “Double digits! Wow!” So now I guess I’m double decades.
But I feel like what should matter more isn’t the age that I’m turning but how I grew as a person during the past year, and how I made it to where I am today.
This past year I’ve gone through a lot of stuff. I had my dream internship at a real publishing company (aka Random House), I learned how to navigate the city (a little), I took a lot of classes and learned about myself as a writer, I lost a bunch of people that were really important to me, and I met and got to know a lot of people that are important to me now. It hurt to lose the people that I lost, and most of the time it was my fault. It still hurts when I think about it and look at pictures of these people and know that they have different lives now. But I learned from it, and I learned not to hate myself for my mistakes and accept what happened and try and move on.
I got a lot closer to my step family, and realized how important family is. I never really understood that before, because when I was younger Carly and I didn’t spend a lot of time with our extended family. This past year I got to get to know my brother Eric and my cousins Sarah and Bella a lot better and my aunt Julie, and I spent a lot more time with my sister. Carly and I used to fight all the time, but I think that we’ve learned to appreciate each other a lot more now that we’ve gotten used to me living so far away most of the time. I love Carly. I miss her and my dad all the time. She is one of my best friends, and it took me a long time to understand how important she is to me and how important family is, but now I do.
This year I learned to like where I am at Ithaca. I learned how to make friends, and how to be a happier person. This year I learned what it’s like to be alone, and I learned the difference between being alone and being lonely. This year I decided to surround myself with people who are positive and amazing and who care about me, and grew apart from the people who aren’t any of those things. This year I chose to be happy.
For my birthday this year I had a birthday party. My best friend Meryl drove up from Albany to “surprise” me (aka the surprise didn’t work because I found out about it early on) and I invited the people that I’ve been spending time with at Ithaca to hang out with me and bring food for a celebratory potluck. It wasn’t a real college party. It was at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. My friends bought me a pinata (which they filled with condoms). And the people that mattered and the people that cared showed up and they brought food and we sang and ate cake and talked.
If you are reading this and you don’t know me, something that you should know is that birthdays are my favorite holiday. I love birthdays. I used to say that I loved birthdays because it was a day all about me, and no one could really deny that because it was literally my day. But I think that birthdays aren’t just about me– they’re about me and the people that I care about and that make me happy.
I was looking at my pre-birthday post from last year (scroll down to read it if you want) and I was so unhappy. I missed home, I missed my boyfriend. I didn’t like myself. I didn’t think my birthday was important or special. And that’s because I didn’t try, or even care to try. I didn’t try to make myself happy here because I was so stuck on the things that made me unhappy.
This past Saturday was one of the best birthday parties/birthdays I’ve ever had. Most of the people here that made my experience at IC what it is were there, and they understood how important it was for them to be there for me and they showed up, which says a lot. What my friends at IC show me and what they mean to me are that they are the people that care. They are the people who are there for me when I’m sad, who make me laugh and who make me happy. They make me and my birthday feel important and special. They show how much I’ve changed this year, how I choose to feel and be the way that I am, and how there are so many good things to come and look forward to.
Here’s to another year. Happy birthday to me!
I am 16 going on 17
I am so grateful to have such amazing friends…
A few weeks ago, I asked my dad if I could have a birthday party and he said yes. So I started planning it and made a thread with all of my friends, and started talking to all of them about it. And then when we got the place we were gonna have it at, my dad couldn’t afford it because it was too expensive, so I canceled the party.
I was really upset, because birthday parties and birthdays are so much fun, and even if the birthday/party is about the person it’s for, I always thought of it as a collective thing, where the party and the birthday is there to put smiles on people’s faces and make them happy, for themselves and others.
And then my birthday actually happened, on the actual day, and my best friend Sarah and my friends from dance Annie and Cara let me sleepover and they did my makeup and hair and we took pictures and dressed up and watched The Adjustment Bureau and it was really wonderful, and we all fell asleep tired and happy and it was really fun. And I considered that my birthday party, and I really loved it.
My friend Max invited me, about 2 weeks ago, to a poetry reading of his at the Peekskill Coffee House. Not having anything else to do and sincerely interested, and getting a ride from my friend Jamie, I agreed to go and I was really excited about it. I got a black beret and I was legitimately prepared to snap my fingers till they were really tired 🙂 WHOO POETRY CHYEAH
And then, last night, when the poetry reading was supposed to be, my friend Jamie picked me up and I was wearing my black beret and a nice shirt and with a huge smile on my face and I wouldn’t stop talking about what had happened that day and how excited I was for break and how I hate certain freshman for stealing my phone and just other stories, and I was so hyped up because I had actually eaten a really large quantity of food, and then I walked up to the door at Max’s because that’s where we were picking him up, and then..
A kajillion smiling faces were all staring and me and at first I didn’t know how to react so I just sort of tried to open the door and run away because I am just not good at handling surprises but then Jamie pulled me back in and I was like crying I was so happy.
It was really wonderful. They had all kept it a secret from me for a little less than a month while planning it, and I had no idea how they’d done that… I can keep other people’s secrets, but I definitely CANNOT keep my own. When I’d gone back into the condo at my dad’s to grab something, my dad had apparently leaned in Jamie’s car’s window and said, “She’s blind as a bat. She’s no idea what’s going on.” I had hung out with Shane on Monday, and he’d known and he hadn’t told me. Sarah had known and I’d spent all that time with her at dance… And all my friends had known and they hadn’t told me during school or anything. Alli and Mel and Sarah and all of these people had ACTUALLY ASKED ME during school that day, “What are you doing tonight?” And I’d told them I was going to a poetry reading, because I legitimately thought I was going to go to a poetry reading.
The rest of the night was really amazing. We danced to music I didn’t know, we ate so much food (I actually almost threw up because of it) including cheesecake and stuffed artichokes, which are my favorite foods in the whole world, opened many Audrey Hepburn themed presents, and cuddled and just so much hugging…
They made me feel so happy and full of love and I could never have asked for more amazing people to be my friends. They are so wonderful.
Thank you so much, you guys.
I am 17 going on 18
well, here i am. i’m gonna be 18 in about 2 hours. pretty exciting. i guess. now if i do illegal things i can actually be incarcerated for them! whoo hoo!
i don’t really know how i feel about this. not specifically the incarceration thing that i just said, but more of that i will be a legal adult. i’m going to be responsible for more things, technically. maybe my dad will treat me the same. my mother absolutely will not. she’ll say things like “you’re an adult now, so act like one.” and then she’ll try to provoke me into being awful to her as she would normally do except if i do yell at her back then i am actually legally responsible for what i do and say. and then she can kick me out of the house again and i can actually be gone.
i don’t know if this will make me a more independent person. i think it will because i’ll be forced to, not because i want to or am comfortable with it. i thought i should just say that because i am really dependent on my family and my friends for mostly everything, so i am still unsure as to how that’s going to change. i don’t even know if i’m going to take on more responsibilities because i’m 18.
i still can’t drive.
maybe i’ll even have a false attitude about being 18, i’ll strut around and be like “yeah amanda’s an adult, watch out b!+ch3$ #yolo” except that would never happen. maybe a little bit of false confidence because i would be an adult. technically, right? except that’s hypocritical because technically changing my attitude to act like that and to be what is to me, an adult, is actually immature and childish.
i think that i might miss being 17, but maybe i won’t. because getting older signifies growing up and moving on, and when enough time already passes and i’m off to college i’ll be happy that i’m older for that, right? did that sentence even make sense?
at this point i still don’t know how i feel about being 18. i’m still a teenager. that’s all that really matters.
happy almost birthday to me.
I am 18 going on 19
Being 18 is significant. You can vote! You can buy cigarettes! Lotto tickets! Get a tattoo and get a piercing by yourself! You’re an adult!
I have not participated in any of the above, except get my top 4 piercings, but that was on my actual 18th birthday.
I feel like this was a pretty good year. Shane. My first real internship. Went away to college as a freshman. Made new friends. Got published. Got closer to my family. I’ve been working on not being a gossip, and having less drama in my life. And I’ve been happier. I’ve been really really happy.
I know that I do these things every year, like my last thoughts on being an age. But these next birthdays are sort of the insignificant birthdays, right? 19 is my last year as a teenager, and then 21 is important I guess because then I can drink legally. And then 30 is going to suck, because that means that I’m just old.
I love birthdays. I always say that birthdays are the best days. They’re a celebration of you. I get so excited that people think I had about 10 cups of coffee.
These past few days I’ve been really excited. But when I got back to my dorm room tonight I just got sad. This is my first birthday away from home. Tomorrow I probably won’t even do anything to celebrate, except wear the nice outfit that I already picked out and do my hair in a nicer way. I just feel like I’ve had all of this anticipation for nothing. 19 isn’t an important age. This isn’t an important birthday. It’s just another day.
I guess that this is one of the sadder before-my-birthday posts that I’ve had.
I just feel indifferent and sad about it now.
There’s an hour and 10 minutes to my birthday and I just feel sad.