New Years and Twenty One

New Years 2010. I’m driving down the back roads of North Columbus unable to see straight for the tears in my eyes. I cannot get over the immense feeling of dread of the new year’s arrival, only hours away. I don’t remember a New Years that I didn’t feel this horrible dread in the last ten seconds before the current year ends, when the room is fraught with anticipation for the beginning of a new year, a new era where the world will be cleaner and the girls will be prettier and we all will be better people. There’s incredible pressure to make this next year perfect. I can’t help feeling like something about myself isn’t good enough to survive the new year, like in the annual scouring of character, I am in danger of losing myself.

When I was little, I asked my dad why it always took so long for time to pass. A year felt like an eternity to me. He told me that because I was so young, a year was a large percentage of the life I had lived up until that point. And then he told me that as I grow older, each year will be a smaller portion of my entire life, essentially decreasing in value. I think this was the beginning of my fear of passing time. I understood then that every year will always be 365 days, but I couldn’t get away from the haunting idea that the years will only get shorter as I get older.

I started taking every possible provision against letting the years pass me by. I wrote in journals obsessively documenting every day. I would keep memos of significant events that had happened on certain days and I made an effort to look back every day to a year in the past and see exactly how far I had progressed in my life. But it gets exhausting having to consciously appreciate your own existence.

I can’t say that living 18 years has improved my outlook on the decreasing marginal value of a single year (why yes, I did take AP Microeconomics. And I failed the AP exam miserably). Each school year becomes increasingly shorter. To my horror, I advanced through each year of high school with the ease and speed of someone ascending a set of four steps. Freshmen are just young sophomores, and by the time you’re a sophomore, you’re practically a junior. And juniors are just a few months from being seniors, and all of a sudden, here you are. On top.

And then on bottom again. Here I am, a freshman once again and now I’m going to be more fully conscious of how quickly four years can fly by. I know that all I can do right now is appreciate that I am entering a small window of about ten years that I have expected to be the years. In my imagination, I have only ever been able to reasonably conceive vague details this far in my mind.

Now I'm only twenty six, feelin' more like fourty three
My hairline's disappearing, and I never get ID'd
My clothes are out of fashion, no I'm not cool anymore
In the bed by ten o'clock each night, and up at half-past four
Still I go down to that college town when the Bulldogs play at home
I drink keg beer from a trash can til the whole damn thing is gone

Then I look at all those college girls so innocent and young
And I just check 'em out, and say "Damn... I wish I was twenty one"

Have I really become the girl who quotes country songs in her blogs? Well you know, it happens. I do go to Georgia. I love Corey Smith though, because he sings about Athens.

That’s all though.

I hate New Years and I’m scared to death of college ending.



2 responses to “New Years and Twenty One

  1. I feel cool for getting the marginal value thing! (Taking microecon just now…)
    I think college will go much faster than high school for me (not that I disliked high school or anything). Just a feeling.

  2. Pingback: how i survived new years- | Well Begun is Half Done

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