21 and Loving It

The three prime ages a person gets excited about, and are glorified all of our lives, are 16, 18, and 21. Each milestone marks a new freedom and excitement. They also mark the steps of a person growing from being a child to adulthood. From learning how to drive, to becoming a legal adult, and finally being able to drink.

I had waited for what seemed like forever for these years to come for me. I was more excited that I was finally allowed to date at 16 than I was about driving. But I was happy when I got that driving permit in my hand. When 18 rolled around, I found myself in awe of the freedom I now had. I could buy things by myself that would have previously required me to have an adult with me. I could get my tattoo and nose pierced without my dad’s disapproval. It was a freedom that I loved. But, what I really couldn’t wait for was my 21st birthday.

The beginning of my junior year of college all my friends were turning 21. They would go out to the bar and make plans to go out during the weekend, while I was left home, still 20. The months leading up to my birthday I kept imagining what it would be like. What would I wear? What would my first drink be? How much should I drink? Should I have my phone or delete snapchat for the night?

I wanted my birthday to be epic. I wanted to have fun and let loose, and hangout with my roommate for a wild night. I wanted it to be a night that I would never forget.

Hours leading up to midnight I was prepping myself. My roommates and I went out to get our hair done and styled. I watched in excitement as the stylist curled my hair, giving myself a new makeover compared to my usual ponytail. I spent the early evening taking a nap and checking my outfit over and over again. I was obsessed with my maroon top with a golden chain neckline. It did wonders for my chest and showed just the right amount of cleavage. I had just bought my first pair of booties to go with my top and skinny jeans. I rarely dressed up or enjoyed shopping. I was more comfortable in my jeans and hoodie. But I was obsessed with my whole outfit. I was more excited about dressing up than I was about drinking.

I jumped into my skinny jeans and my top, slipping into my booties. I stared at myself in the mirror and I couldn't help but smile and turn to see myself in different angles. 

I felt beautiful. I felt gorgeous. I felt sexy. 

I fluffed my curled hair and checked out the makeup my roommate did on me. A smile on my face the whole time. I suddenly had this air of confidence inside of me.

I was a ball of nerves. I didn't know why, but my heart was racing and my chest was flaming red.

Leading up to midnight my roommates took pictures of me and I felt like a model. I wanted to freeze that moment and not go to the bar. But then I thought about how exciting the bar would be and how I could show off, and of course take my first legal drink.

The car ride to the bar was filled with the radio blasting Sam Hunt’s “Body like a Back Road.” I was feeling good, jamming along and dancing to the music, my roommates cheering me on. I felt on top of the world, the center of attention, and sexy. I had only two hours to live it up and I was going to do just that.

I felt excitement when I walked into the dim lit bar. It was a new and exciting. And there were guys, good looking guys.

I felt good about myself, and after my first drink, I was feeling relaxed and dancing to the music playing on the radio. The highlight was finding my old crush staring at me. I smiled and waved and he came over and hugged me, smiled, and bought me a drink. I felt a power surge run through me. I danced and laughed. I kept sneaking glances at myself in reflections throughout the bar. I never felt such admiration for myself, so much love for myself.

The two hours worn on, my body taking in the alcohol, only making me buzzed, but I wasn’t mad. I decided that I didn’t need to get drunk and forget everything from that night, or wake up on my bathroom floor. I was happy with myself dancing on the dance floor and enjoying the drinks that an old flame bought me, and letting myself fall in love with my beauty.

I was worried about what I would drink and what the next morning would be like. But when I went out for my milestone birthday, I realized that I found myself loving the way I saw myself and how incredible I felt about me, without the alcohol. 

Turning21 is typically viewed as getting drunk and having a good time. I went in thinking that way, and came out finding love for myself.

I felt confient, gorgeous, and free. It's a feeling I still hold inside me.

21 and falling in love with me.