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  • Lauren

Here's to Another Year

Updated: Apr 23, 2020

It's my birthday tomorrow. I'll officially be twenty-******* and it's a strange feeling. It's uneventful. It's not exciting, no one is hyping up my "big day." And this year's celebrating is weird. It's the first time I'm not with my parents. My second time without my sister. And one of the few years I'm not going to the "birthday fair" with my uncle. And surprisingly, I'm not upset. I'm not sad that I'm turning another year older or that I'm essentially alone. It's just a feeling of "I'm getting older, I'm not close to reaching my dreams yet, and I don't know what I'm doing."

I'm not a full fledged adult yet. My parents still pay my phone bill, they still do my taxes (not that I have a lot of income), and they pay my rent. I hate when I run into old friends and classmates from high school or college and they ask me what I'm doing. I'm not working, I'm not in school. I sit around all day motivating myself to write or be creative and end up sleeping in, eating a cheap, late lunch, and watching Netflix. It's easy to look around and compare yourself to others. But then I realize that there's really no one to compare myself to. No one can adequately compare themselves to anyone because we are all different. We all have different experiences, different emotions, different motivations. So as I stood in the shower on the eve of my Birthday Eve, I reflected on some of the things I have done in the last 365 days.

First, I moved out of my parents' house. I still visit frequently and they still see me, but for the most part, I am living on my own. I have two roommates who work or go to school, so essentially it's just me. And I've actually gotten a lot done and done a lot of growing. I've learned compromise, I learned what it's like living with others. I've learned that produce somehow doesn't last as long when you buy it yourself and that if I want a clean house, I have to clean it (disclaimer: I cleaned at my parents' house too but for some reason I'm more OCD on my own).

Next, I became a mother. Not really, but close enough. My family got a puppy, Kara. And she's the cutest little fluff full of personality and sass. She's a little rebel who thinks she's big and tough. It's been hard, taking care of myself and another life, taking her out every hour, feeding her, playing with her, constantly watching her. And I've had my stressed out moments where I will spend an entire day not getting any work done because of her, but her face is hard to stay mad at. I love her and now know what it's like to feel that kind of love. A love you want to protect and cherish.

Speaking of love, I joined online dating...yeah. Nothing has come from it but a handful of dates. Some promising and some not. But I'm still single and that doesn't bother me. I may be a year older but I don't consider myself old. I have since changed my profile to private. The fact that I would swipe left on pretty much everybody was a little depressing.

I got my first real job. And I left my first real job. But not without learning a few things and improving on my Photoshop skills.

I traveled. Mainly to California. Like 3 times. But I suppose that is my future home. And of course home to San Diego Comic-Con where I came back nerdier and more "woke" (for lack of a better word) than ever.

I made new friends. I caught up with old ones. I said goodbye to some who moved. And the first of my friends got engaged! I'm so excited for her and her fiancé.

I decided I wanted to go back to school. And I've been working on applications since earlier this month. It gives me a lot of anxiety, keeping up with six different schools' application requirements but I'm just glad I don't have to take the GRE.

I finished writing and directing my first short film. We started in February and ended in August and are currently waiting to see if it is accepted to our local film festival. Will keep you updated.

I started this website, this business, and this blog. It's slow, but I guess I didn't realize how busy I really was at this age. Hopefully I am able to paint again soon. I miss it dearly.

So I guess I did a lot this past year. This coming year will probably feel the same. There will be no monumental change but a gradual one to get me where I need to go. I will continue to explore and to grow and use the things I've experienced and put them into my art. I kept waiting for that big, neon sign that said "You Made It" but in a way, I hope I never make it. I hope I never stop learning or growing or working. I hope I always have a hunger to improve and to keep going. I hope I am never stagnant. As an artist, you can't be. It's not in our DNA. So twenty-whatever doesn't mean I'm getting older. It means I'm getting another year, another chance, to live and experience.

Bring it on, twenty-*******, nothing is going to stop me.

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