In three days I'll be 21, able to stay at the mall as late as I want and buy booze for everyone. I'll grab a couple drinks with people at the end of the week and then have my birthday bash this weekend. Friends are looking forward to my celebration (hopefully beyond the promise of alcohol) and smile at me before asking, "So, are you excited?!"
I want to be excited. I know I should be excited. I'm trying to be excited. But I'm not. Maybe it's due to the fact I feel like I already turned 21 a year ago when in Europe. The initial glee of being able to buy a bottle of wine any time I wanted to had waned by the end of those five months abroad. Now it seems less of a novelty to buy my own alcohol.
It won't be my first drink, it won't be the first time I've gotten drunk, it won't be my first time at the bars, and it won't even be my first legal drink. Where's the spark in this? Where's the fun? Perhaps I'm expecting too much from this day and the buildup has lasted since I turned 18 three years ago. That's a lot of brewing anticipation, my friends.
Maybe it's the daunting realization of my life "really beginning" and having to enter the "real world" next year and how stupid I look right now using "air quotes continuously." I miss the carefree-ness of yesteryear and how much fun each birthday seemed to be through a child's eyes. I always wanted a blow-out birthday.
I've never had a super exciting milestone birthday. My 13th was at a Culver's following Jazz dance class. My 16th involved my friends coming over to watch Dodgeball and eating pizza. My 18th was ice skating in downtown Milwaukee. Now I have friends over to a friend's house to drink for a couple hours.
I don't know what it is I'm expecting exactly, but something special, out of the ordinary, something to make me feel special. Wanting to feel special makes me feel like a brat and a bother and I hate that more than anything. I feel out of it and in a daze right now, like I'm missing something just out of my reach. I have no idea what it is though which makes things a tad tricky.
Maybe it's that I'm not that happy right now and haven't been for a couple months. Winter break was lonely and miserable and the beginning of this semester hasn't exactly been a ray of sunshine either. I can't snap myself out of this and was hoping my birthday would be more than a distraction from all the stress and unrest in my life. I thought it would change things.
Alas that's not how the world works, I suppose, and the longer I expect happiness to fall in my lap the longer I'll feel like crap. You don't realize how happy you were until you're looking at it in retrospect...but then the next bout of happiness will be that much more powerful than the last I hope.
Here's to hoping my birthday won't be complete shit and I'll have some fun, or at the very least get insanely plastered to make up for it all.
^New Year's Eve. Two bottles of white wine in. Preview of weekend's festivities.