Birthdays and A Message to my Future Self

Just some incohesive thoughts about the one day your friends and family celebrate you, and a message from 16 year old me.

Birthdays have always been a weird concept to me. It’s the day you’re let into this world, and you get to celebrate every year you’ve been on it. It’s a blessing to be alive and to make it to the age you have. Some people haven’t made it as far as you have, and to have to remind yourself that during your mid teens is even more disheartening.

As a kid you always think it’s “cooler” to be older, but then you get to that point in your life where you just want to be younger. I feel like I’ve had both of those feelings at the same time since I was 13. You want the respect of being older–no one patronizing you for your mistakes or even for your accomplishments, but you don’t want the responsibility of being older. (I’m terrified by just the thought of having to do taxes and, God forbid, having a job and working.) There’s no perfect age where you get that balance of respect and that worry-free youth.

So, this is you, Jean, on your 16th birthday:

I remember when I used to eat gigantic bags of Funions all in one sitting, and I had no care in the world. (Apparently, giant bags of Funions are my idea of what used to be my care-free life.) It reminds me of all those days when you aren’t old enough to truly understand how much this world seems to get worse and worse–even if it’s not a direct experience, just sympathizing and knowing that other people have lives that don’t get as many opportunities as you do. And I just wanted to say: my current stresses of getting my driver’s permit, finishing AP summer assignments and generally being a well-informed person will probably not compare to what the stresses of the future holds. And I might not even read this after, but I may as well give it my best shot. So what you are currently feeling, if you can’t remember, is wanting to live in a better world. I can only imagine a society where people realize that death is our equalizer. We are all the same in that way, and we all leave the world in that way. I really don’t know what to say, so I’m just going to stop.

Just a couple questions that hopefully you can answer:
How is that new Alt-J album?
Will the show Community actually get a movie? I know that with the six seasons now they HAVE to get a movie, but I’m just not sure…
Will I have as many friends as I think I’ll have? (I’m picturing Instagram-worthy Sunday brunch in a big city with a group of close friends… too optimistic considering my current social life???)
How is the dream height of 5’10 coming along? (You’re at 5’1.5 right now… I mean I should stop crossing my fingers for a growth spurt, but I like to think my chances are slim rather than none. They probably are none though.)
Do you finally think you are responsible enough to take care of/want kids? (The fact that you shape someone who has the potential of being the next president or massive drug kingpin just scares me. I don’t want my kid to be a bully or be bullied. I don’t want my kid to be the type of person who admires people like Nash Grier c. 2014… people change, but I don’t like him the way he is now. The way parents can mold their children is scary… I don’t want to mess up.)

Oh man, I’m going to wish I wrote better questions. Anyways, I think I’m pretty cool for 16, but I thought that at 12, and I cringe at the thought of my own 7th grade image. Hopefully, you’re super cultured and you know a bunch of good people with inspiring experiences under their belts.

Here are some pictures:

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doggie: Lexie, awesome tie dye hobby you got into towards the end of 15, kale chips that you haven’t perfected, chipotle lunch w/ Emily, and a view from the Griffith Observatory

I like the idea of this potentially being an annual thing. Or maybe every 5 or 10 or so years. Make good choices!!!

That’s all.
-Jean

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