Hejira

missing

July 8. 2000

You know, believe it or not, there are times I am really envious of my sister.

Let's give the run-down of Lauren's summmer so far: She has a cushy, well paying job (I sure as hell didn't get paid $6.50 an hour when I was 16) at the local community pool as a lifeguard. Her hours are 11am to 7pm, which leaves her enough time to go out late every night with her rich boyfriend (who's my age) who pays for everything, including that week long trip to Florida last month. Last week was her surprise 16th birthday party, about 50 of her closest friends were here. She's tanned, thin, and wears all the right clothes.

Now let's take a look at Bethany at 16. Fat, awkward, invisible to the opposite sex, no close friends (this was mostly by choice) stayed in the house and never went out. I didn't have a 16th birthday party. This was also by choice.

Ah, angst, angst, angst. You know the drill. I don't want this to turn into some sort of pity party at Bethany's lost teenage opportunities. Truth be told, I wanted it the way it was, and I don't regret anything I did then because it made me the person I am now, for better or worse.

At least, I think I don't regret it.

I guess getting an apartment next month (next month?!?) has really made me realize that I've entered the adult world for good, and there's no going back. There's no way I can be carefree like Lauren is now, suddenly I'm going to have to worry about paying for food, clothes, insurance and that sort of thing. And while I don't regret taking these steps, part of me wonders what I've missed.

Sometimes I feel like I've really missed some vital part of my teenagehood. As much as I keep telling myself that I haven't missed anything, sometimes I feel like I have. I'll never have a large, close knit group of friends who will write in my yearbook and buy me carnations at school on Valentine's Day. I'll never have huge sleepovers or day long trips to the pool. I'll never have that innocent, first boyfriend kind of relationship with a guy. I knew I was never going to experience these things, I kept telling myself they didn't matter in the large scheme of things. I have my art, I reasoned. I have a few close friends instead of tons of casual ones. I don't need those things.

Well, maybe I didn't need them, but I now I miss them. It sucks knowing you can never get a time in your life back, even when you're only 19.