Okay, so this is a flashback post. I was, oh Lord, 18 in the picture above, snapping photos of myself in the bathroom mirror before bedtime. I've stopped doing this (for the most part).
I was single, loved my best friends, and judged everyone harshly on their tastes in music and books. Like, if you don't know how to pronounce Camus, I will straight up laugh in 'yo face (okay, I still kind of do this; more kindly, mind you).
I was obsessed with Modest Mouse, Rogue Wave, Caribou, The Virgin Suicides soundtrack, Arctic Monkeys, The Breeders, the PIXIES, Beck, Cake, Cream, The Doors, Elliott Smith, My Morning Jacket, Ryan Adams, The Shins, The New Pornographers, Pinback, and XTC. For the most part, this hasn't changed much at all. I've just discovered more music that I love.
I remember going to Borders after school one day and finding The Stranger and In Cold Blood for a buy one, get one half deal. I bought them. A cute boy rang me up and I remember thinking, I hope this is what college is like.
I took my new books to Caribou coffee shop and realized that a lot of weirdos hang out in coffee shops. I wrote religiously in my composition notebook, mainly about how terrible my upper-middle class life was.
The reason I bring this up is because I frequent the website tumblr. It's a fairly enjoyable waste of time and I recently found a blog that I really liked; the girl seemed a lot like me. She was into Sylvia Plath, but because of her journals and not because of her poetry. I felt the same way. She liked collecting books and ended up getting a Faulkner to 'be more well-rounded.' Very quickly, she started to irritate me. She would talk about the shopping sprees her mother took her on at Anthropologie (a store I can still hardly afford on sale) and her parents bought her a new Macbook Pro among many other things for Christmas. Then she wrote a poem. Oh Lord. After the poem, she wrote a scathing message to stop following her if you weren't going to read her poetry and respond to it.
Maybe I'm bothered because she's 6 years younger than me and exactly how I was at that age. Everything I write is far more important than you. Give me attention. My life sucks even though my parents buy me everything I want. The music I like is better than yours. I'm going to take pictures of myself in the mirror.
Maybe it's because I've matured, obviously gotten older, and I'd like to think, smarter, yet more humble than I was. I'm in a position where I don't have to prove how excellent I am going to be because it's already happening. Sure, I still have a long way to go and a lot to prove, but for the first time in my life, I see professors looking at me as a person they can invite to their houses for wine, instead of a whiny undergraduate.
I'm still at home and, to some extent, financially dependent. I do pay for car insurance, maintenance and gas, my phone bill, and by May I plan to have the $3600 or so dollars I need to pay off my undergraduate student loans.
Life changes a lot and it never turns out the way we imagined it would be. Sometimes it's worse and sometimes it's better. If you would have told me I'd be 23 and still living at home, I'd have laughed. What does that mean for me? I'm not quite sure. My plan is to be gone by 24 to New York but we'll just see how that goes.
Anyway, here's to all those 17-year-old girls out there who think life is all about the books you read, the music you listen to, the clothes your parents buy you, and lamenting about how sad it is to have everything paid for and how much better it will be when you move out. I was you, once.