>One of my cousins is turning 21 today. When she was born, I was 16 years old. That year New Kids on the Block was my favorite band, MTV still played music videos and I learned to drive a stick shift.
While my childhood was idyllic, I hated being a kid. School was a total downer. The only thing I really liked, a side from Christmas, was summer vacation. I didn’t have to be bored out of my mind at school and I could do nothing all day…kind of like my weekends now.
Of course, as I got older I only liked school so I could covertly stare at whatever boy I happened to have a crush on at that time. Unfortunately, the pain of unrequited love and shyness soured the joy of seeing the object of my affection. I never had the self confidence to make eye contact.
Turning 21 is a big deal because you really are an adult even though it could be another 10 years before you actually feel like one. There are no more big birthdays to look forward to…on some level, you start dreading them. For me, it’s because I don’t want to die alone and it seems that death creeps ever closer. Honestly though, I still love my birthday which is probably because I’m narcissistic or maybe I just love a reason to have cake.
The thing is that I didn’t really feel like an adult until my mid 30s. Except for my abject loneliness, I enjoy being over 35. I’ve never been this self-confident before. In fact, I’m ready to declare myself not shy anymore. Believe me, I still have to battle my fears and insecurities on a regular basis, but I feel like I’m starting to in the war.