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  • Just under a year ago, I posted my unexpectedly successfull story "21 Before 21"; a list of things that I wanted so desperately to accomplish before my next birthday. Some of the tasks were impossible such as doing a handstand on my skateboard, others were meant to make me feel okay in my own weird, sassy skin. Despite the differences, all of them were meant to force me to go outside my comfort zone and make adventures even out of the lamest circumstances.

    I initially expected these adventures to come easy. However, I quickly learned that this experience would be just the opposite. Sometimes, stalking the set of "Girls" is actually really hard or they stop filming when you can finally wander Greenpoint. Also making friends at a concert: not the easiest feat either since most humans, besides me of course, trek to a venue for a show rather than a random conversation.Though I've always been quick to say that I would rather not do something than fail, life has changed a bit and I have come to learn that most of the fun is about trying and getting let down but knowing that you went for it rather than actually succeeding. The fails have made some moments that I may have forgotten about, gave me a little burst of funk [or sulk] depending on how you look at it, despite not being able to put a check mark next to a hope.

    Of course, there's the many that I quit doing, didn't bother trying or forgot about; submitting pieces to my favorite zine monthly, skating in Brooklyn or pulling an all nighter in a city. [PSA: the later has been a fail twice in a row now but due to desperation, I'm counting spending all night on a beach with your best friend for it] In the weeks leading to today, a large part of me was loaded with regret that I didn't manage to check all of them off. could have. would have. should have. Yet, after minutes of gloating, I can't help but be so stoked on all of the spontaneous things that weren't on the list I did do; go into NYC dressed up as Wayne and Garth to see Matt Nathanson with my favorite pal, move to an island knowing no one and having the summer of a lifetime, pick up a drunk fellow that was semi under my car on said island one night after prank calling poor guys and hotel workers all evening, finally start talking to one of the most important people in my life again after two years of not, run around downtown NYC at night with my new group of feminist friends leaving me to believe that my life is oddly like The Carrie Diaries afterall. That list can go on forever but what really gets me is that these adventures are so much better than anything I could have thought of one year ago.

    One year ago to the day, I was celebrating today in Ireland, if you want to be exact, I was most likely chasing some guy at this point [its 1am there as I write this] at The Brog, one of my favorite places on earth. Part of me was living in the moment loving every second of the journey and another was downright terrified of what was to come when I got back home to NY. Cork became my home, my roommates became the sisters that I have always wanted, the guys we hung out with on the reg were both wonderful and total pains and that freezing walk to the bar never failed to lovingly suck. Knowing that these antics would soon end and I wouldn't see the people that have driven me off the wall but brought me so much joy for months and even years was reality slapping me in the face in its finest form.

    Funny, I'm kinda back in that weird limbo now; trying to figure out what I'm supposed to do with my life and who I want to be. Life has been quite weird since I arrived back on U.S soil. To say that I'm clueless about what lies ahead of me is a total understatement. I. know. nothing. To those that have everything figured out, I'm really sorry, but I hate you.

    Yet, I'm starting to think that all of this uncertainty is part of the fun. If we knew what was going to happen at every moment where would the thrill of doing something as small as making friends with a fellow working in an ice cream shop or with the girl that was a beast at Irish Step dancing come from? FYI: it wouldn't exist. There wouldn't be a wild story about how some tiny encounter turned into a soul sister or summer adventurer or some weirdo that became one of your best friends on earth by chance ONLY TO MOVE TO CHINA ugh. The spirit of life would be nothing and to me, thats even scarier than failing at something thats your everything or just hitting on a guy thats not single at some irish bar. ha.

    I so desperately want to make another bucket list of things to accomplish before I turn 22. Though kinda lame, I have come to see these things as artifacts of what I'm feeling and dreaming about in a specific moment rather than physical goals that I have to fulfill. There's something really enchanting about them, aka this is another great way to not study. However, I'm tempted not to. Most of the incredible adventures that I found myself on over the past year came out of the blue and in some cases, happened on the days that I was bumming the hardest. Spontaneity has always been really hard for me to embrace- anyone thats been around me knows that I very much enjoy having life planned out to some capacity, okay, lets get real, most. This year though taught me that maybe letting things happen is the way to be. When I say maybe, I mean without a single doubt. Sometimes, as my fictional hero Hannah Horvath would say, you just gotta embrace the suck to its fullest potential. Hannah's right- really right actually. It took me 21 years to truly figure this out, but there's something really liberating about saying fuck it and actually not giving a shit.

    To be honest, like life, I don't have the slightest idea where I was going with this. As a writer, I suppose this is the stupidest mistake one can make, but I did it, so here's to hoping I come up with a way to end this properly and if that doesn't happen, this is my first challenge of truly saying fuck it and meaning it at 21 years old.

    For some reason, I posted this link to my Facebook page, which is terrifying, so if you happened to stumble upon it from there, thanks. thanks for being a friend, a fellow spark seeker and well, hopefully, not ripping this apart in your head. Spending 21 studying isn't ideal, so thanks for making it super special.
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