22 Things for 22 Years

I am approaching the 22 club, and as of November 24, I will be there. I have to admit, 21 was more anticipated, as well as I could actually see people and go places, but this year has taught me a lot of lessons. I am not above blaming personal things on 2020, but if it’s large and overarching like systematic racism or a deadly virus, it’s not the year, that’s always been here. Blaming 2020 for your problems only works if these problems are somewhat petty, and boy, I am petty.

 

So, without further ado, here are 22 statements and things I learned this year, COVID included.

  1. 1. Coming from a solely mechanical pencil user since 2010, pens can be okay

    I got my first set of 0.9 mm mechanical pencils in 2010, and I have used those almost exclusively ever since. There is something so smooth about the graphite, I don’t know, I became addicted to it, trying different brands and styles until I eventually found my favorite, regardless of the fact that using them made me look literally like I was still 2010.

     

    I have been wanting to make the switch to pens for a while, simply for the fact that they look more professional and show permanence, but none of them had the same smooth feel of my pencils. About a month ago, I found the perfect gel pen (Sharpie S Gel 1.0 in case anyone was curious), and just like that, I am now a pen user. Please be gentle with me, I am new.

  2. 2. Do not bother loving what does not love you

    I spent some time this year chasing what did not want me back and you know? It’s not worth it. You start to question yourself, who you are and why anyone would want you. You shouldn’t have to beg someone to spend time with you, the right people will never want to leave.

  3. 3. LA at home was still useful

    driving in red convertible with Hollywood sign in the distance

    For those who do not know, I am supposed to be in LA right now, soaking up the smog and earthquakes while commuting to my internship. We all can guess how that is going right now. The good news is that I am still in my internship, and good lord, I love it. I am interning at a film production company, and the amount I have learned in these past few months is astonishing. I used to want to be a novelist, but now I am taking a turn for entertainment, and seeing where that takes me. Going with the flow is hard for me, but hey, the more career options the better.

  4. 4. The bad sides of EDS can be so bad that the good ones do not exist

    At the end of 2019, I was officially diagnosed with Ehlers Danlos syndrome (EDS), specifically hypermobile EDS (hEDS). This means that I have unstable joints, fragile skin and widespread body pain, among other things. At it’s best, I am extremely flexible without having to stretch at all… pretty good for an ice skater. Unfortunately, it is working against me right now. My joints are getting more unstable and more joints are being affected than ever before. I am not flexible at all, in fact, at times, it is hard to move. 2020 has been scary for personal reasons, this one won’t be getting any better. It is up to me to learn to manage it, life is about living with the uncomfortable.

  5. 5. Friends are a lifeline, but they take work

    I am forever indebted to my friends, most of whom have been made recently in 2019 and 2020. I literally went into my classes and picked someone in a class to make my friend. I went into Boston recently to see them and it is magical what can happen from a (respectful) Instagram DM. Reach out to people you think are nice, they probably are.

  6. 6. Beaches are underrated, no matter what time of year

    woman sitting on blanket located on shoreline

    I was never a beach person. Now I go almost every weekend. There is something gorgeous about a misty beach in the cold and the water rushing to the sand, and it is just as gorgeous as the beach in summer. Also, the seagulls are still there and I love them.

  7. 7. Boston has been missed

    I was a weirdo when I went to school and I used to vehemently tell people I hated Boston. I was literally at a school in Boston walking around Boston, telling people I hated it? What was wrong with me? I have no idea. It took me literally until junior year to love Boston and fall in love with the streets and gardens. I got kicked out because of COVID, and now my brain tells me I miss it? That’s not fair, but I guess it’s karma.

  8. 8. I enjoy hiking?

    I have based much of my personality on being from New Hampshire and refusing to hike. At a certain point, I realized that hating hiking was taking up space that could be used for hating other things and people, and I hiked all summer and into the fall. I am a hiker now, watch me run up a mountain, very cool.

  9. 9. Soon I will no longer be a student

    graduation

    It is crazy to think about how for the first time in 18 years I will no longer be a student. I cannot even wrap my head around this thought. I know I am supposed to find a job, my place in the world, but I could honestly repeat first grade and be alright with it.It is crazy to think about how for the first time in 18 years I will no longer be a student. I cannot even wrap my head around this thought. I know I am supposed to find a job, my place in the world, but I could honestly repeat first grade and be alright with it.

  10. 10. Dating is hard, loving yourself is a big part of it

    I did the dating thing during COVID, and oh my is it weird. I don’t think anyone is “good” at dating, but I have learned that loving yourself is a big part of it, and not just before you begin dating. I went into dating loving myself and then about halfway through, it all went downhill. When you view yourself as lesser than the other person, everything else starts to go wrong.

  11. 11. Ditch the idea that standing up for yourself depends solely on yourself

    Over the years, I have been compared to a doormat and a lot of other things. Basically, I let people walk all over me and on occasion, I thank them for it. I’m working on it and have improved, but sometimes, it just doesn’t work, and I realized that it can be a two way street. People may not be listening. You can tell them all you want and stand up for yourself, but if they do not listen to you and comprehend what you’re saying, you’re back where you started. This could be seen as discouraging, but it has shown me that when things don’t work out, it may not be my fault and that I can just keep going on my own, and make my own path and my own decisions, regardless of what people say, because they may never listen, and I cannot change that.

  12. 12. I’ve become a horror movie fan

    Usually I am a scaredy cat, and so so jumpy, but after taking a class freshman year that focused on horror movies, I began to write some horror stories. This led me to check out other horror movies and four years later, I can call myself a horror movie buff. There’s something almost calming about them but I can’t put my finger on it yet. If anyone wants a rec, my favorite one is called Triangle (2009).

  13. 13. Kristen Stewart still.

    Praise be the Kristen Stewart obsession, which has been here for more than a decade. I am still as obsessed as I was when she was in Twilight and in everything else. World, stop sleeping on this woman, I swear she’s worth it.

  14. 14. VOTE

    I voted in my first presidential election, as did most of my friends and peers, during a time of record voter turnout. The seriousness of this election is not lost on me, especially during a pandemic. We need someone who understands the American people and cares for them and their needs, who cares about people of all abilities, incomes, sexualities, races, ages, and citizenship. I am overjoyed to say that I voted on the right side of history.

  15. 15. Ice skating is a privilege

    I have been skating for 17 years and for most of those years, I viewed my sport as a constant, something that was not going anywhere. Unfortunately, I have dealt with health issues as I have gotten older, and skating is no longer as effortless as it once was. Ice skating is a privilege for me and many others who have health issues. I hope one day I will be able to skate the way I used to and without pain. For now, I am appreciative of what I can do and look forward to strengthening myself slowly.

  16. 16. You will never be fully in control

    weekly planner on a tablet

    My life revolves around being in control, apparently that is the root of my issues, since you can never be in control of everything. You can never know everything and predict life, it’s just not possible. If anyone finds out how to do so, don’t let me know, I’m trying to move on.

  17. 17. Any interest of yours is valid, no matter how much others think it is boring 

    I have some bizarre interests, such as ship conspiracy theories (hello White Star Line and Lusitania?) and American Girl Dolls, none of which people like to hear me talk about. This leads me to not want to talk about them and feel like a burden. Over the years, I have come to embrace all of my interests, even the ones that are considered “weird,” because humans are weird.

  18. 18. There is always a way out

    Nothing is ever definite, and even when you feel trapped, there is always some sort of loophole or a way out. Except if you are in prison, that might be difficult, but life is a lot less permanent than you think, and it moves slowly. Don’t go faster than what is around you.

  19. 19. I still look 12 and I am okay with that

    woman spreading her arms at the beach

    I have been aging like Benjamin Button lately, and at times it is annoying. At the age of 21, I had to show ID to enter a concert because “children under the age of 14 had to have a parent or guardian with them.” But I could still get a kid’s meal right now and people are extremely kind to me when I am lost, which is all the time.

  20. 20. Identities can change and be fluid, this does not make them less valid, you determine who you are 

    We like to use labels to identify ourselves and quantify who we are, and they can bring comfort, especially if they do not change. For some people, like myself, identity can be fluid and ever-changing, and this is not a bad thing. Your identity is yours to make and change, as well as get rid of, and "no identity" is an identity as well.

  21. 21. Younger does not mean less valuable

    It is funny that I am talking about aging and also talking about being young, but I both look extremely young and am young. However, this does not mean I do not know what I am doing or am incompetent. Can we leave the idea that only older people are skilled in 2020?

  22. 22. Anyone can improve, especially me. Do not see yourself as exempt from improvement

    black lives matter protester holding sign

    Lastly, it can be easy to project your faults on others, when they really are your own. We can all be better and aspire to help others do the same.