I got up early this morning to spend approximately 3 hours writing a paper. I forced myself not to take a nap so that I could fall asleep early knowing full well that in two days, I will have to be up at 4am. Yet here I am, 1:15am still awake despite having been in bed for an hour. Why am I still awake? Well, among other things, chiefly because I’m turning 22 in a week. More than that, I am having a giant birthday in a week celebrating said occasion. And I am freaking out.
What if no one comes? What if people come and then wonder why they did?
More than anything, I’m worried I won’t measure up. Measure up to people’s expectations and maybe more so, my own. What if I’m the worst dressed? What if I’m having a fat day, or something with my hair/makeup goes terribly wrong with no time to fix it? What if I’m in the middle of a huge breakout? What if the dress I have picked out is the wrong one? What if everyone looks way cuter than me? What if I hate the way I look in all the pictures?
The doubts swirl around in my mind. I have to fight the urge to get up at 1:30 in the morning to do a complete trial run of my outfit head to toe as well as my hair and makeup. I
t’s ridiculous and stupid. My birthday should be a fun day. Having a party should be nothing more than an excuse to spend time with my favorite people. Yet, here it is becoming a fashion show and a beauty contest and a popularity contest.
When did I decide being myself wasn’t enough? Where was I taught that I needed to measure myself against my friends? How did I learn the only way to be a good hostess is if everyone walks away impressed by how you somehow managed to look flawless and make all the food incredibly delicious while of course also decorating to perfection? Why is hanging out with friends a contest to create the best pictures or media posts, to have bragging rights?
Why can’t it just be about how your early 20s are a hot mess and that’s okay? Why can’t it just be a celebration of life?