This I Believe

Cherin - Lansing, Michigan
Entered on October 30, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
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I believe I have too much on my mind.

In recent months I have experienced more changes than should be allowed for one person to endure. As of September 4th, I have lived one month as a twenty-two year old and I am all ready shedding my twenty-one year old habits of constant boozing and living recklessly. A recent transfer to a university where drinking is considered a social priority, I lived the most confident and socially ambitious year of my life. (Perhaps my confidence level and my alcohol consumption had a direct correlation). Now that the drums of responsibility are thumping away in my head (twenty-two implies adulthood, so I hear), I have to get used to the idea of growing up. I am feeling my age even before I have experienced it.

I am twenty-two. Twenty-two. Like walking barefoot over sharp stones, it is hard to repeat. Twenty-one rolls off the tongue in a familiar, I’m at the fun age, kind of manner, where admitting I am now twenty two is as fun as being stabbed in the heart. Where twenty-one put me in front of a line of drinks, twenty-two puts me at the forefront of life-altering revelations. Thanks to seeing a friend get married last weekend, I know there is only one thing worse than being twenty-two and that is being single and twenty-two (I think the correct term is ‘premature spinster’). With my age, you stop mixing drinks and start mixing bitterness and clarity and you learn more about yourself than is appropriate. My year long habits of bar hopping only brought me closer to the toilet bowl rather than true love and I never loved the former. Where at least half a dozen good friends have settled into new lives out of state, I am only settling into sobriety. I am drowning in college debt with ever building responsibility and I constantly wonder if I am ready to start my life.

To top it off, I have given up my crutch.

I know total abstinence from alcohol is near impossible given my addictive personality and general weakness to turn down a free drink (vodka tonic please), not to mention the inevitable special occasion (God forbid someone else turn twenty-two), but because of the drink I have gotten familiar with rock bottom and now plan to be more familiar with its opposite. Aside from wild stories and party connections, all I have to show for the mindless fun is squishy abs (which will not actually be seen until after they reach their firm pre-bar star form). I now realize how fleeting my old, as in young life really was.

Though I might have trouble growing older, I believe this year it will be easier giving up my old habits.