20

I wish I didn’t have to be so cliche in saying I’m different or not like other girls… but I have a reason I swear. I am so that girl, I embrace being as basic as I want to be with no shame, so don’t take it that way. I am not like other girls, or even boys for that matter, because for as long as I can remember I have not been a fan of my birthday.

Now, before you go calling me a liar – keep reading. I do love my birthday, I mean who doesn’t? But since I was around the age of five years old, I have struggled with turning a year older and leaving a year behind. My poor mom probably thought something was wrong with me ( well she probably still does sometimes (-; ) when I told her at the age of five that I did not want a birthday party that year. I can just imagine a curly-headed, know-it-all, five year old Hailee marching right up to my mom and telling her that I would not be turning six that year. You think I’m kidding? Ask anyone who attended our get together on February 25th about fourteen years ago. I refused to turn six, so instead my mom through me a “Friendship Party” and I would cry any time someone tried to tell me Happy Birthday. I want to look back and call myself a brat for these insane demands, but I see now that I was right.

I hate turning a year older. Don’t get me wrong, I love and accept change, but growing older is something I never wished for. I am content at this age of kinda an adult but kinda still a kid. I like being able to call my mom whenever I need her, or ask my dad how to do things on a daily basis. I like having the luxury to focus on school and just living life as a college student instead of working a full-time job. I am not ready to grow older and turn 20 tomorrow. I wish I could freeze time and live this life forever. I see my five year old self more than ever today when looking at how time flies by. I was smart back then, I knew how good of a thing I had going for me and I just wasn’t ready to take the jump to a new age and another year of life behind me. Today I am the same. I love the attention and the celebration, if you don’t… you’re a liar, that comes along with my birthday. I love the presents and the birthday posts. I love eating dessert all day and spending time with my loved ones. I love all things birthdays, whether my own or those celebrating around me, but every year that passes breaks my heart a little more.

In a few hours, I will be twenty years old. Twenty years of life in this crazy world. Tomorrow. Tomorrow, I will take the leap from my exciting teenage years and delve into the real world of my twenties. Just like my last post, where I struggled with this idea of leaving the past behind, I feel myself doing the same thing in these past few days of my nineteenth year. Maybe I am not ready to put the past year or so of my life behind me and journey out into the unknown. So, although tomorrow is inevitable maybe I can use this post to reminisce on all of the moments my teenage years have brought me, as well as brace myself for what entering my twenties will mean.

Now – let me first say in no way am I complaining about the way I am spending my birthday weekend, or any past birthday. Hathcock birthday celebrations are in no way something that is taken lightly, and of course this year is no exception. From extravagant birthday parties, to large birthday dinners, and even amazing birthday trips… celebrating birthdays in our family is not just a day but a week of sweet texts and full attention on you. I mean come on, who doesn’t love receiving the infamous “Birthday Princess” text from my mom? Because I know half of you have received it yourself. Our birthdays are a week of celebrating, happiness, and family that doesn’t even end when your birthday does.

So yes, this weekend I am traveling to my favorite place in the world, New York City, with a few of my favorite people in the world, to ring in not a new year but a new chapter in my life. I’ll eat at all my favorite restaurants, NOBU being a must, demand loads of pictures be taken without complaint, sorry Kyle (-; , see my favorite Broadway show, and just relish in this final weekend of being nineteen going-on twenty. Twenty is torturous already, I know…

Though the Sound of Music reference and the itinerary of this weekend may have left you in positive spirits, I feel as if my spirits are not quite to that level yet. I know that 20 will come with more hardships, tears, hours of studying, and responsibility then any year so far. However, I also suspect that 20 will come with a positivity that cannot be overlooked: more memories, new friends, life-changing moments, adventure, and hopefully, lots of happiness. Guys – I am completely terrified. Birthdays are what everyone else looks forward to, right? Getting presents, eating cake, wearing a cute Birthday pin, and watching all your friends post throwback pictures of you to social media. Why why why can I not kick my six year old self to the side and get all the way excited about this milestone birthday?

Tomorrow is coming, no matter how much I pout or fight it, I will soon be a twenty year old. No longer able to claim I’m too young to no better or to care. So, I guess I have no choice but to move along, but maybe today I’ll spend just a few moments reflecting. Reflecting on all the insane moments my teenage years have brought me… from life changes, to big events, to new places and faces – the past seven years have been nothing short of extraordinary. In the past few years I have moved out of my parent house, moved to a new city, transferred to my dream school, adopted a dog, joined a sorority, found my best friend who awesomely duels as my boyfriend, graduated high school, got my first (& only) tattoo, started a photography hobby/business, travelled the world, discovered Hamilton, and so so much more. Who would want to leave that all behind?

 

I know my twenties will also hold positive moments, and I will probably dread turning 30 in ten years from now. Just like at the beginning of 2017, I will start with a blank slate on which I will then pave out to be my twentieth year. My twentieth year of trying, of loving, of sometimes struggling, and of living. My twentieth year of finding my path in life and discovering who I am, and who I am meant to be. My twentieth year of ups and downs, and hopefully many more adventures. Maybe this next year of life will allow me to do and try new things that I would have never imagined. I will never, ever be keen on losing time and leaving moments in the past, but I will move forward and celebrate this inevitable and exciting beginning to my twentieth year of my life. I am surrounded by the people I love and am so incredibly blessed to have even made it this far in life – and I definitely couldn’t have done it alone. I can now look back on my teenage years and regret nothing, which is something that not many people can confidently say. Alright, alright, I am officially done complaining about turning twenty – I am ready for what this year will bring me, all the good and all the bad.

So, here is my challenge to myself from tomorrow until February 25th, 2018 –  In the next 365 days I will travel to 20 new places, meet 20 new people, read 20 new books, try 20 new foods, and have 20 insane moments that will then transform into 20 everlasting memories. Here’s to a full year of making things happen and owning all things 20. Bring it on.

xx,  the newest twenty year old on the block

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