In 2010, I turned 20. That’s two decades on Earth, and supposedly a one-way ticket to adults-ville. The plural on ‘decades’ is probably the most daunting thing I have ever seen, and if we’re talking about the world’s expectations of me, I should have been equipped with a certain pretentious level of maturity by now, or gathered enough “wisdom” and focus to be really taking on life on seriously. Alas, reality as we know it, is a lot harsher than that. It’s like I’m playing dance dance revolution with everyone else, except I’m tripping all over the dance mat. I’m too awkward and incapable to keep up with everybody else.
The point is, sometimes I wonder why I’ve turned out so much different from most girls my age. Sometimes I wonder if I’ve grown up the right way at all, because I see almost everyone and I know, and they’ve got the whole “growing up” business under control. They have social skills sharper than shurikens, and they’re planning big events, plotting their full blown plans in the futures in ink, going through job fairs, and somehow, they’re all pretty assured of an okay future at the least. And me? Oh, me.
Let me tell you something: I’m interested in the most trivial things. I believe writing on adorable stationery and stickers makes the letters I send to friends abroad makes them twenty times more compelling. I get frustrated when I miss Phineas and Ferb on the telly, even though I had specifically written it on my hand that day. I genuinely like unicorns, stars and rainbows together (I doodle stars on my rainbows even though I scientifically know of its impossibility), apart, real (unicorns are real, I promise) or not. My affinity for dinosaurs has affected my headwear (thank you Sari), and I like it when my plates are in the shape of funny or adorable objects. To top it all of, I’m terribly obsessed with romantic comedies from a decade I didn’t even exist in. Goodness, I’m such a freak of nature.
But hold up.
I’m not trying to hide how bewildered I am about this whole idea of moving on to heavier and bigger things, because I’m working on it. Don’t misunderstand; I’m not all of a sudden ready to embrace a future of boring responsibilities such as car loans, taxes, and trips to the grocery (Who am I kidding? I love going to the grocery and buying produce, and no I’m not being sarcastic). This doesn’t mean I’m ready to give up on my fondness for cute stickers, or my Little Twin stars planner. I’ve never gone to a college party, joined a career shaping organization, had copious amounts of alcohol and gotten pissed drunk, or done anything remotely wild or adventurous, but I don’t think that I’m all that naïve, sheltered or inexperienced. I don’t think I’m boring at all. (Okay, maybe I’m a LITTLE naive)
I choose to read children’s books in Spanish, sell cakes that are adorable, and celebrate themed birthdays (my friends have dressed up in Cheshire cat, 50’s celebrities and mad scientists costumes), because I try to cope with the inevitability of growing up the best way I can. (I know I make it sound like a terminal disease, but you can’t blame me for pointing out the similarities in their inescapability.)
Take my strawberry cupcakes for example. They are (non-) living proofs of my (more than) 7-step-program-to-becoming-a-well-adjusted-grown-up, because it was then I clearly knew (an epiphany if you must) that nothing made me happier than being caked in icing sugar, fingers red from food coloring, and playing with edible clay on a Friday night. Knowing that alone (and admitting it to myself), gives me five points for maturity right?
(Ah, here comes the conclusion)
I have no intentions of clearing out my room of the coloring books, the silly hats, or my Disney linens during general cleaning, because I’m ready for whatever comeuppance that comes with liking this stuff. I like who I am, and I’m pretty sure I’ll like who I’ll be if I keep liking what I like now (so many ‘like’s!), and if somewhere along the way I stop doodling rainbows or having really awesome costume parties, do me a favor, and bake me some strawberry cupcakes, that’ll do the trick.