I like not having a curfew and I like that if I go into certain bars at certain times I can get served alcohol. I like that I make my own money and I like going furniture shopping for my new apartment, and that I can vote for whoever I want next year and that if I felt so compelled, I could get a trampstamp.
I want to know how to buy a car, and how to do basic business math. I want to know how to write a resume and know what wines go with what foods, and when to use a comma and when to start a new sentence. I want to know what its like to be in love or to have to pay rent or to produce my own play or what its like to be able to afford the not-sale section at American Apparel.
I hate that everything moves on, and I hate that I haven’t talked to anyone I graduated with. And I hate how boys who used to like you, like new girls and I hate that old friends make new friends who have the same name as you. I hate that you eventually stop talking to the people who you once told everything to, and that “home” is a relative and terrifyingly temporary term.
I hate the commuter rail, I hate cleaning out the refrigerator, and I hate that my pediatrician has decided that she is done with me. I hate how I’m slowly starting to use Instagram wrong and that I can now see why I got C’s on high school papers even though at the time I thought I was handing in 2-pages-double-spaced (margins on fleek) of pure unedited, analytical, genius. I also hate how when someone asked me how old I was yesterday I said 20, even though I’m only 19, and I hate when people call songs from 2005 “old school” because “Gold Digger” still plays at clubs and Fall Out Boy is making a very lucrative comeback.
I’m torn between wanting to be 30 and wanting to be 3. I want to be an adult, but at the same time I’m so obsessed with preserving the past. I write everything down—what I ate during the day, who I spent time with, how I was feeling, what I thought about, etc. If someone writes me a note I save it and label it and tuck it away in my journal and I do all of this because I don’t want to forget anything about what my life is like now. I have notebooks full of this stuff, like a personal history museum dedicated to me. It’s a little bit self-important and a little bit cute, don’t you think?
I look at pictures of myself from when I was a baby and it terrifies me that I don’t remember when they were taken. I get freaked out that the nose in those pictures is the exact same nose that I have now, and that the hands in those pictures are the same hands that I’m typing this with. I am that oversized 4 year-old, the toddler with cankles, the rosy, grubby, soft blonde kid in ruffle socks. The girl in those pictures is supposed to be the same girl that I am now, but how would I know that? I don’t remember what it was like to be three.
I wish I did.
I wish I could go back and talk to her—ask her what she wants to be when she grows up, what she thinks about, what she likes. For some reason, goofy-looking as she is, she seems wiser and more certain than I am. She knows her place in the world and she’s cool with it. I mean, she can eat a muffin and not worry about her daily calorie limit and she can tell her mom she loves her without feeling awkward. She can ask a question without wondering if she sounds stupid, and she doesn’t feel like she needs to apologize for being herself because she, in her heart of hearts, knows that she's cool.
I wonder if in 20 years, when I’m very nearly forty, if I’ll think the same thing about 20-year-old Molly as I do about 4-year-old Molly. I wonder if I’ll look back and appreciate my ignorance and uncertainty, or if I’ll laugh at it. I just don’t know.
I don’t like not knowing things.
I don’t like doing things when I don’t know if I’ll be good at them,
which is why I don’t like growing up all that much.