Monday, January 10, 2011

Self-Portrait at 28

Self-portrait at 28: Before

I'm not sure anyone ever actually said "30 is the new 20," but if they had (and if it is), 28 would be the new 18. It's an odd idea that I find somehow pertinent.

My 18-year-old self would not recognize the 28-year-old me. And not just because I'm 40 pounds lighter. I'm a more balanced person. I'm not as angry. I'm more philosophical. Less black and white and much more grey.

Self-portrait at 28: Before

I'm still quite insecure, but differently so. I have a better grasp of my strengths and weaknesses, and a much better understanding of what I truly want and like (as opposed to what I "should" want and like). I'm more sensitive - to foods, obviously, but also to sounds and noises, smells, crowds, cold, art, controlled substances, and germs. My quirks are more pronounced.

Self-portrait at 28: After

As removed as I am from the person I was at 18, I feel more like a high school senior now than I did when I was one. Ten years ago, I had just graduated several months early, I was working more or less full time, getting ready for college in the Fall. I knew what I would study for four years, where I'd apply to graduate school, where I'd live. I had my life pointed in a direction that I was happy with, and there were few questions (in my mind) about what the future would hold.

These days, not only do I not have a lovely map of the future, I feel like I can't even begin to draw one. More school seems inevitable, but I don't want a(nother) useless degree, and none of the "useful" ones really appeal. The word "career" scares me. After feeling so certain of my life-path, I'm suddenly a grown-up with no idea what I want to be when I grow up.

My 18-year-old self is pissed.

But what the hell does she know, anyway? Eighteen is the new eight.

Self-portait at 28: After