It feels like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes, oh-oh.
In other news, Taylor Swift put all her music back on Spotify just in time for my birthday, so let’s just say I’ve been—ahem, feeling 22.
Let’s face it, not all birthdays are created equal. Most ages really are, forgive the cliché, just a number. Some are special—you know which ones I’m talking about. Most kids have the most extravagant, Pinterest-esque, over-the-top birthday parties of their entire childhood when they turn one. (Which is kind of sad, since the kid is still a baby and probably needs more sleep and less sugar and after all that effort won’t remember the party anyway, but whatever.) Another big one is 10. I remember my 10th pretty vividly. I was so excited to be in the “double digits” so I could say I had lived a decade and feel really cool about myself. I got a beautiful doll that year, who looked just like me except that her eyes were cornflower blue and her hair never got frizzy. My doll and I got matching outfits too… *sigh of nostalgic happiness*. And I also got this remote-controlled dinosaur that could stomp around the house and let out an epic “RAWR” at the touch of a button. Yep, 10 was a good birthday. And of course everyone loves 16—we get to drive and we’re “sweet 16” and all that. Eighteen makes you “legally” an adult, 20 marks the end of teenagerhood and all its joys and sorrows, and then, birthday of birthdays, 21 is when Finding Dory comes out and you get to have a fish-and-nautical-themed birthday party!
(Wait, is that not what normal people do on their 21st birthday? Huh, how sad for normal people.)
But 22 isn’t all that exciting. In fact if anything it marks the end of the “important birthday” phenomenon. Once you’re 22, you get one of those milemarker birthdays about once a decade—and at that point you don’t really like them anymore (30, 40, 50, etc.) But 22 does have one thing going for it—THE SONG!!! When you turn 22, you automatically inherit the right to get that particular T. Swift masterpiece stuck in everybody else’s heads constantly. And because you actually are 22, no one can protest; it’s your year, your song. Trust me, I’m one of the youngest of my circle of friends so most of them have turned 22 in the past few months. And most, if not all of them, have claimed that song on their birthday.
I don’t really like Taylor Swift all that much. I don’t even think I know all the words to this song. But I’m 22. So it’s my song now.
Isn’t that interesting? A single piece of creative work defines an entire generation’s concept of what it means to turn 22 years old. And oddly enough, with just a couple of rhyme changes, Taylor could very well have popularized being 23. But she didn’t, so being 22 is cool and being 23 is meh.
It kind of fascinates me. Writers—songwriters or otherwise—have this uncanny way of influencing other people to do strange things. For example, I spent a good percentage of my college years in theatre rehearsals. (And yes, it is theatRE, not theatER. Don’t fight me on this.) And theatre kids have this weird quirk… well, they have numberless weird quirks but whatever. Anyway they have this quirk that anytime they see a skull—and you’d be surprised at how often that happens in the theatre world—they pick it up and exclaim “I knew him, Horatio!” Shakespeare somehow convinced an entire demographic that that’s the proper response upon encountering skulls. And when Hunger Games got big, everyone I knew started doing their hair in “the Katniss braid.” It’s a little like magic. I mean, how else do you explain how Tolkien has (indirectly or otherwise) has convinced thousands of people to spend thousands of dollars and travel thousands of miles to sleep in a hole in the ground? Or how the writings of Alfred Lord Tennyson and Lucy Maud Montgomery joined forces and the end result was me lying in the bottom of a canoe in the middle of a pond whispering poetry to myself? (That’s a story for another time—when I talk to you a little about my Anne of Green Gables obsession.)
Here’s the point. (Actually, do I even have a point today? This post is pretty much a trainwreck of goofiness from start to finish. I must be giddy cause I get to have Mexican food today. But bear with me. It’s my birthday.) Here’s the point—as a creative mind, you could potentially have this kind of influential power. People could someday do really strange things based on something you said. Kind of empowering, isn’t it?
Forgive me for a quick topic switch. You may have noticed last Friday I posted my first story under the “Short Fiction” tab on the menu. If you’ve been following my blog from the beginning, you know that for a while I just had a blank page under that tab that said I’d like to publish stories there but I needed to research copyright laws first. Well, I finally did my research and decided my stories were safe enough by law to put them up. I hope you enjoy! I’m going to aim to publish short creative fiction (or poetry, if I’m feeling REALLY adventurous) about once a month — if I can write that many, that is. Sidenote, I’m a notoriously bad poet but I’d like to get better, so I might subject you to poetry practice every once in a while. *Insert evil laugh here* So occasionally, in addition to my regular bloggy ramblings like this little gem, you’ll see a much more thought-out and edited piece, housed under the “short fiction” tab.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to have breakfast at midnight and be happy, free, confused, and lonely at the same time. It’s miserable and magical, heyyyyyyy….