T W E N T Y on the T W E N T I E T H


 I kind of hate my birthday. I mean, every year my birthday has always coincided with a football game, or a soccer game, or some other sporting event I had no interest in but everyone around me was obsessed with. Two years ago, I had chest pains on my birthday as a result of severe anxiety, and the next morning went to the emergency room after throwing up from back pain. Last year, my childhood babysitter died three days before my birthday, and no one wanted to watch the movie I wanted to watch on my birthday. This year, however, things were different. My friends decided to throw me a party after I pinned a picture of a beautiful fall gathering on Pinterest. 


 I had an amazing day on the 19th. I watched The X-Files with a friend, and then went to the party. They got fall decorations, put up awesome lights and banners, and made all my favorite foods. That night will probably always stick out in my mind as one of my favorite birthday memories: sitting in my friend's aesthetic backyard under the foliage and stars, eating food and laughing. I can’t really begin to say how grateful I am to have these people in my life. I feel so strangely complete when I’m with them. I’ve always considered myself to be this badass independent woman, but when I’m around these people I see how truly empty I’ve been these last few years. Thank you guys for making this day, usually one of the worst days of the year, one of the best. One of my favorite quotes from The X-Files is, "I want to believe." And I do. I want to believe that my life can be like this all of the time. As long as I surround myself with wonderful, awesome, kindhearted and genuine people. September is not easy for me, as I’ve said before. But just having these people there, knowing I could cry or talk to them about anything, made everything easier. At the end of the night it rained, and I danced in the downpour and walked in the drizzle. The leaves blew off the trees as I was driving home, and for once in my life things just felt right.


 Twenty feels very different from 19. It feels more even, balanced. I think 19 was a good number for how I felt last year. A little off-kilter, uneven, so close to that solid footing and yet so far. So it feels weird to have a number that now represents where I'm at. This whole week, I've been marveling at how balanced I feel. Like I can handle things I couldn't before. I have so many more things going for me. Today, on my actual birthday, I went to lunch with my best friend, watched Gilmore Girls with my sister, ate good food, got everything I wanted (I didn't ask for much) and watched Kingsman: The Secret Service. I decorated my room for fall, edited a video, and read Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. It was simple and quiet, but perfect, because I was so full of love for everyone around me.

 Twenty, I wasn't ready for you before, but I am now. I'm twenty, and good with it.

 -Fran