I’m getting old, guys. I’ve just turned twenty, which is really a proper age. I’m in my twenties. In ten years, I’ll be thirty. We’re getting to real, grownup territory. The transition from adults looking at you not as a naive, idealistic teenager or young adult. Rather someone who should be taken seriously every once in a while, someone who might have an opinion or thought really worth listening to (and for reasons beyond youth). 

Not that twenty is old. It’s young. But it’s old enough for me to know that I’m young, and that’s scary. When you’re old enough to understand how young you are (how no one is ever really old if you think about the universe in its entirety, or try to), it means you’re growing up. The tangible idea that you still have an entire lifetime, that your existence has been ever so limited and there is still so much you can do. I’m there, guys. I see it. 
And it scares the bejeezus out of me. 
There’s this thing that I call Second 2nd Grade, and it’s what I use to describe the phase I’m going through. I don’t know if it’s a phase. I tend to make commitments. How many years have I kept this blog? Oh, right, nine. Speaking of nine, that’s how old I was when I decided to become a vegetarian. Oh, and since we’re on decisions it was one day in kindergarten that I decided I wanted to be a teacher. 
Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate a good getaway. The idea of fleeing is always the silver-lining for every situation, how to best run away. Anyway, Second 2nd grade has been a long time coming. It started building on itself the summer going into my senior year. The summer so fondly referred to as the Summer of Suck (in which my cat died, I didn’t go to Texas, I lost my job, and I was dumped) was actually the beginning of my most revered transformation. 
In years past I had tried to wear dresses and other types of clothing (not jeans, not t-shirts), at the last minute I would chicken out and wear something more bland and socially acceptable (jeans, t-shirts). But, something had intrinsically changed within my being. I looked at those dresses and knew I would walk in on the first day of school as a new person. I knew that for the first time in ten-years (since second grade) I wouldn’t be ashamed or afraid. And, I wasn’t. 
It grew from there. A timid dress with mascara grew to frills and a full-face of makeup. I would take stuffed animals to school and dress up in elaborate costumes for German class. I spoke in German class. In France I met a girl who was so totally beautiful. She wore bright pink lipstick, a fake flower in her hair, bright pink jelly sandals, and a loud floral print dress. Afterwards, I started rocking the bright pink lip and flowers and bows and BAM I was starting to get loud. This grew, and grew. I wear fairy wings and tiaras and buy stuffed animals and you bet I’m going to wear some neon lipstick even before it’s on trend (mutterings of, that’s kind of old lady were heard for a while). 
What I’m saying is, I am very tiered and I’m starting to reach this grown up age and I’m acting younger and sillier than I ever had before. 
Have we discussed One Direction recently? 
Love, 
Elizabeth 

I think because I was busy being depressed when I was ages fourteen-sixteen (and, srsly, the warped self-image started up in the second grade), I am now responding to everything being marketed towards girls. Like, I’m almost twenty and I’ve coined the phrase “second 2nd grade” for use on a daily basis.

The fact that I have feels about a boy band and celebrities that got their starts on Disney … I follow Miley Cyrus on Twitter.

Today, I’m thinking April 19 plus the hour or so the has passed, was a day for the books. I’ll start backwards. I got home from work and my dad asked me if this was the day I was supposed to sign up for classes. Suddenly, I realized tonight (it still being the nineteenth) would become the twentieth at midnight, meaning tonight is the night I sign up for classes, not tomorrow.

So, at half past ten, though I had planned on going straight to bed, I assembled my class schedule in a frenzy for spring and fall. It was decided. I was going to get all of my requirements completed for transfer in 2013.

Summer: Anthro1, Anthro1L, Math 201

Fall: Eng5, Engl17B, Math203, Comm1A

Spring: Engl17A, Math 15, Geog1, some Area 4 requirement

And, done.

You see, over the past few days I’ve been overwhelmingly productive. This burst of productivity made me feel capable, which is something I have not felt for the a long while. Like, ever. I began to feel like I could pass these classes and handle the workloads. I could study and do my homework and volunteer and go to work and clean the house and still have time to watch some bad TV and read a book. Things were going really well. Today, the nineteenth, I even baked a cake.

My schedules were assembled around 11:30, leaving me with a half hour to kill. I washed my face and had a bowl of cereal. I watched two YouTube videos. I chatted with some people on AIM. All the while scrupulously looking over my schedules and watching the numbers change of my computer’s clock.

At 11:56 I realized 12 comes before 1 and my summer semester schedule did not work because of that ingenious discovery. I panicked. I went through the .PDF of my school’s schedule and came up with a new one by 11:58. I then refreshed my add class page until it finally let me in to sign up for classes. I copy and pasted the class codes and was signed up for summer semester in four minutes.

Then, it was the big leagues. Fall semester. Four classes and more people wanting them. I copy and pasted the class codes and submitted, to the page where four green check marks should have appeared. Instead, there were two green checks and two red X’s. It let me sign up for math (thank the lord) and communication, but not my English classes. It said I haven’t met the prerequisite. I have met the prerequisite. I took English1A, the prerequisite, in high school. I took AP English and got a 4. I took damn English1A.

That’s when I broke. I started breathing heavily, wheezing, and finally full-on hyperventilating. I was crying. I was crying really hard. I was sobbing and yelling. True, honest hysterics. My parents tried talking to me and I shushed them. My dad came into my room and I yelled that I needed him to leave. He tried to pat my knee and I yelled for him to not touch me.

So, I sat there. I hyperventilated and yelled and sobbed. It was happening again. I wasn’t going to college again.

The first time this happened was in April of 2010, the twenty-fourth to be specific. Two days prior, I had accepted admission at the private school in New York that my grandfather had attended. Then, my parents changed their minds and decided I couldn’t go there. They had their reasons. Reason. Money. But, it crushed me. It was devastating. It felt like something deep in my chest had collapsed. That is what it feels like for a dream to not come true. I curled up in a ball on the ground and sobbed. I cried so hard and for so long I could barely open my eyes. For days, my face was swollen. For days, I could do nothing but cry. This perfect idea I had for myself and college had been snatched away just after it had been given. For two days, I was so happy. Then, I wasn’t. Because I wasn’t going to college.

I did end up going to college. To my tenth choice school. It gave me over half the tuition in grants, and the rest was covered by very reasonable loans. A year there cost less than a one-way ticket to New York. And, you know what happened. I stayed a semester and failed everything. I went through two roommates and was miserable everyday. My dream had not come true, it flashed through my mind all of the time. And, after a fall that hard it’s difficult to get back up. But, I did.

The following semester I returned home and wallowed. Then I started volunteering and things changed. I loved it, but it was weird. I didn’t quite fit in anywhere. I was too young to be a teacher, too old to be a student, and too not-in-college to relate to all my smart, in-college friends. In the fall I got a job and went to school and then my family blew up, but it was okay. Mostly. Kind of. I hated school. I hated school a lot. In my time off from my school I forgot how difficult it is for me to learn. I forgot that I have to try really, really hard all of the time. It sucked a lot. For most of this semester, too.

But, then, just a few days ago something clicked and that drive I once had returned. I started working really, really hard. I started making lists of responsibilities and sticking to them. I realized that I was going to college.

Yeah, in 2013, the CSU’s might practically shut down and I have to jam three semesters of school into two and a half. But, like, I could totes do it. This was, like, really happening. I felt good about things about my myself about my life. The idea that things will work out in the end actually seemed plausible. After all this time of saying I really do like myself and my life is fine and college is necessary. Somewhere, at some point, I healed from that broken heart.

So, I sat there. I hyperventilated and yelled and sobbed. It was happening again. I wasn’t going to college again. Then, I stopped. I calmed myself down and went through my sheet of transferrable courses. I started switching around my schedule and Plan B formed. It was Plan B, but at least it was a plan.

Summer: Anthro1, Anthro1L, Math 201

Fall: Math203, Comm1A, Geog1, Soc1

Spring: Eng5, Engl17A, Engl17B, Math 15

Sure, I would have to majorly cut my work hours during Christmas. Yeah, English 17A and B would have to offered during the same semester. And, fine, I’ll admit an English class, two Shakespearean English classes, and a math class may seem a bit excessive. Especially for someone who has to read Shakespeare in total silence, repeatedly, for it to sink in. But, like, I’m a strong and capable person. I can do this.

I added and dropped a few classes whilst figuring out my new Fall schedule. Communications was the last to be added and it had to be moved the most. But, then, it wouldn’t let me add the class. I was trying to add a class I had dropped and, apparently, that is not allowed.

Ouch. Right in the Hope for a Future. So, tomorrow morning I’m going to hop over to The Welcome Center and see if they will help me add Communication because I deserve that damn class. On Monday I’ll go to the counselor center and make an appointment to see the counselor that aided in fucking over my future and demand she do whatever counselor magic is required for me to be allowed my damn English classes. The counseling office isn’t open on Fridays, otherwise I would be camped out there right now. Not really. My school is in kind of a not great area so I would never camp there. Or anywhere. Camping implies voluntary interaction with nature. Ew, no thanks.

(Later, I walked into my parents’ room and explained what happened. “That sound you heard, the sounds when I was crying and stuff? That was the sound of me not going to college. Again.” Cue the tears here.)

Since this turned out to be so long, I’ll be brief if the description of the rest of my day. This morning, the nineteenth, I drove my mom to her work so I could take her car to my work tonight. The parking lot was empty, but I needed a student decal along with paying for parking. I had two dollars, but no student decal. I don’t even have an ID. So, I drove around (on an almost empty tank) until I found metered parking. I paid almost five dollars in change for an hour and a half of metered parking, and I still had a half hour for class. I went in search of a decal. I found one, and I also found out that I apparently had a fee waiver so the school is giving me nearly $500 back. I felt really badly about wasting all that money on parking, but the $500 took the edge away of $7. In math I was anxious all the way through because I was afraid I’d run out on the meter and get a ticket, and my fee wavier money may not soften the blow of that. I finished my quiz is two minutes flat and practically ran to my car, which had a minute left on the meter. Then, I went to the parking lot and (magic) there was still parking. So, I parked and paid and pet my shiny decal.

Then I baked a cake.

Das Ende.

Once upon a time, I always had something to say. Things would pile up inside me, and then I’d run over here to expel all those things. To knock down all those piles of things.

There have been fewer thoughts of consequence. There have been fewer thoughts.

Ugh. I’m having another one of those days where this is not right. Most days are like this. Yesterday wasn’t like this. Yesterday was fine. Today, though, I’m going to go for a walk. With a friend. I haven’t seen this friend in a while. Well, I ran into her the other day and we stood there, in the midst of everything, talking for twenty minutes. Then we agreed to meet today, Sunday, to hang out. She asked me to go for a walk.

And, just, the reality of nature and having to wear a pair of pants and real shoes is getting to me. I haven’t even left the house yet, and suddenly I’m so uncomfortable and unhappy I don’t know what to do.

Then, it just hits me, and it hits me really hard. This was never the person I wanted to be.

German class always makes me sad. Maybe it’s a good thing this is my last semester.

I’m going to miss it. A lot.

Tonight, a boy’s friend from Germany came to class with him. He’s living in Heidelberg, going to school there. And, gee, I missed it. He kept talking about the city and I remembered where he was talking about. I knew the name of the disko he goes to, and I knew the school is seven hundred something years old. I knew that having a car there is redundant.

I remembered the rush hour of bicycles, and the park near the Rhein. The old city and train station. The bus with the drunken boy at 8AM who insisted my makeup was just right.

It took all I could to not start crying right there in the middle of class. This happened last Wednesday, too. Except I was sad because I hate school, I hate everything. And, after this semester, will there be a single thing I don’t hate? I’m not sure. Lately, I’ve been considering just giving everything up and getting an AA in baking, or something. But, then, I’d have to learn a new measuring system to be able to move to Europe. I also don’t want to be a baker. But, I also don’t want to be a student.

I just hate everything, you know? I just do. A lot. All of the time. Then, tonight, he was talking about this city in this place where even the ugliest of moments felt magical. It would just be nice to feel again, the ugly magic. Here there is never both, and I can’t live with it.

Six months to three days in one moment. The damn whipped cream. The story of my life.