The perfect age

Is there such a thing? When I was a kid, I never wanted to grow up. I thought being a kid was the best thing ever. Using my imagination to make anything into a toy, watching cartoons, reading picture books, what more could anyone ask for? When I was 13 I thought that was the perfect age, even going so far as to declare that I would be turning 13 again, instead of 14 (practice for turning 29 again 12 times in the future perhaps?). I felt that being on the brink of teenage-hood and on the last edge of childhood was enough for me, who needs all the trauma and chaos that comes with high school anyway? When I was 16 I thought, this is perfect, being old enough to not still be an underclassmen but not quite to the real world yet. I also couldn’t wait to hit 18 though, because as we all know, and foolishly assume as adolescents, that is the age that we are officially an adult and can do whatever we want right? Well, no, not quite, wrong again, Bethanie. So at 18 of course I couldn’t wait to be 21, the legal drinking age! As the people I was hanging around were already of drinking age and I just got to sit and wait patiently while they drank, I felt that I couldn’t stand the wait, and it was much too far away. When 21 finally hit, everything was great! I had the promotion I wanted at work finally, I moved out into a house with my best friend, I had it all. Kind of. At 22 I looked back on adolescence and thought, what a magnificent time to enjoy not having worries like bills, working full time, and final projects on top of all the partying I was doing back then. The grass is always greener, isn’t it? Ages 18-20 are the time to come of age and try to figure out what you want in life thus making them what can be the best years of your life. However in the world I existed in, it was just an extended version of being a teenager in high school, not having enough money to be able to do what I wanted, still abiding by my mother’s rules since I was still under her roof. Now at the ripe age of 24 I feel like the end is near, 30 is just 5 and a half years away, ACK! But in all truthfulness, I realize that this a perfect age. Yes, I’m still clamped down by responsibilities such as that job I hate and cannot wait to dance my way out of upon graduation, rent, car payment, and all those credit cards they waved in front of our faces at 19. But I finally realize the most important thing of all over the last 2 years, something that took at least 22 years to figure out, that I am in control of my life, my future. As children everything is planned out for us, we have no say in it. As teenagers, we still have very little control. But finally, as an adult in the truest sense of the word, I can now honestly say that I am an adult, I am myself, I am independent, and I am going to succeed if it’s the last thing I do. I am responsible for myself and only myself, every decision I make has a reaction and consequence, good or bad, I make it. There is no excuse for when I behave badly, forget about a test, procrastinate a midterm project, or stay in bed all day instead of cleaning, it is all up to me. This notion is the biggest freedom of all. I only wish more people could realize this and stop making excuses for themselves and take charge. Things don’t happen on their own, nothing comes for free, and in the end we only have ourselves to blame for not trying to make the most out of our short time on this Earth. This is the perfect age. And as 50 Cent would say, “Get rich or die trying.”

Here’s a few pictures of me throughout my many “perfect ages”:

At girl scout camp, approximately age 10-11

Senior Prom

As a blonde, about 20.

Hippie Summer of 2010: Playing water balloon badminton

Just cruising

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