As you may have known (especially if you were following me on Instagram this last week), I turned 21 yesterday!
I've been a bit anxious about turning 21 the last couple months, just because everyone kept asking how crazy I was going to get to celebrate. I don't really drink and haven't ever enjoyed it. So, the idea of "getting crazy" is really unappealing. But do I tell people that, or do I humor them and nod and laugh?
For the most part, I found myself giving the same line every time: "Actually, my mom is coming up, and she might have higher expectations than me! I just want to have a glass of wine and be in bed by 10:30." Which, for the record, I was.
Still, I couldn't help but groan a little bit inside every time someone learned I was turning 21 and told me to "be safe" but "have a good time." I mean, is that really what this birthday is all about; alcohol? As someone who doesn't like to drink and has never been drunk, I've spent a lot of my life wondering why so much emphasis is placed on alcohol in society. Am I missing out on some seriously worthwhile part of life? Why don't I understand or experience the desire to drink?
I admit: I'm just as guilty as anyone at associating 21 with being legally able to drink. I've told people what I hate hearing on so many occasions, for some reason playing into the false sense of importance associated with alcohol in modern society. Turning 21 has taught me that, if I expect to be treated a certain way, I have to extend that courtesy to others.
For me, turning 21 was about much more than being able to drink. This last year has been extremely difficult, and more than anything, I'm just proud of myself for having made it through another year. So, for my birthday, I chose to focus on celebrating that.
The handmade "It Is Your Birthday" sign (which I made just with some paint samples and gold stickers) had some very special inspiration behind it.
Of course, the sign was really just an excuse to take pictures with my loves.
I was so lucky to be able to celebrate with a group of amazing young women who were more than content to let me have a glass of prosecco, eat cake, and listen to Melanie Martinez while sitting in a circle of awesome conversation. My 21st birthday, which I'd previously faced with a certain amount of anxiety, ended up being a really wonderful evening.
My mom and I ended the night at the Purple Cafe and Wine Bar downtown Seattle with two of my already-21 friends for a flight of champagne and some steak.
So, my 21st birthday ended up involving alcohol, but in a way I was very much comfortable with.