Thursday, September 15, 2011

Today, I am 17

When I was 17 I was indestructible. I don't mean physically. I was susceptible to pain and injury. But mentally and emotionally, I was indestructible. I wasn't the teenager who knew everything, but I was absolutely, supremely, marvelously sure that I could do anything. I could learn anything and master anything, and if I wasn't an instant genius at whatever "anything" was, it would only be a matter of time until I was.

Today, I am 17.

When I was 17 I was not the prettiest girl or the skinniest or the most athletic - and it didn't matter to me one bit. I had something far more important than being the prettiest or the skinniest or the most athletic: I had confidence. I had the confidence of someone who was so certain that they could they forgot to worry about all the people who thought they couldn't. Who needs those people anyway? I knew for a fact that I was not going to win every contest, but I was going to win a lot of them. I also knew winning didn't matter. What mattered was that the person who won was going to have to fight for it, because I was good at everything and they were going to have to compete with me. No one was going to declare King of the Mountain uncontested.

Today, I am 17.

When I was 17 I was way above average at multiple choice tests. Not because I always knew the answers, but because I understood the game. I didn't get nervous. I didn't dwell on the questions I didn't know. I was willing to take a guess and get it wrong and learn from my mistakes and get it right the next time. And more often than not, I guessed right. Because I knew enough to trust my instincts because I knew my instincts were good. Better than good. My instincts were incredible. They still are. I still understand the game. All of the games. My gut has never led me astray, why start doubting it now?

Today, I am 17.

When I was 17 I surrounded myself with friends who were as indestructible as I was. They were smart and funny and thoughtful. And I mean "thoughtful" in that the sense that they were full of thoughts - not that they were touchy-feely and politically correct. I didn't have time for politically correct. I was too busy being awesome. I was too busy loving everyone I met and marveling at how much I could learn from every person I encountered to spend energy worrying about accidentally offending them before they knew me. Besides, when you meet someone as genuine and eager as me, it doesn't occur to you to be offended. I made friends easily and I didn't make excuses for myself. I didn't have to. Honesty needs no excuse.

Today, I am 17.

When I was 17, my whole life was ahead of me. I was excited for new adventures and to see what I was really made of. I had a hunch that I was made of win and awesome. As it turns out, I was right.

Today, I am 17.

In just under two months, I will turn 33, but today I am 17. Today, I am unapologetically certain that I am winning this crazy game called life. I am awesome in ways previously indefinable. I am flawed and imperfect and it is my flaws and imperfections that make me unique. And for this reason, I embrace them and count them as my strengths. Today I am more charming and affectionate and confident and eager than even I thought possible. Today I want to show everyone I know just how amazing they are - because I am far too clever and insightful to surround myself with people who have no awesome in them. (That was a compliment. To you. Yes, you. Stop doubting. I meant you. Cut that out. If you're reading this, I mean you. Jump on my bandwagon. This is not optional.)

Today, I am 17.

Now, who wants to be on my team?

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mr. President

I don't really have anything too spicy to say today. I'm just pleased that the justice department has decided to stop defending DOMA. Very pleased. It makes me grin when I think about it. It makes me think that maybe, just maybe, there is someone reasonable in Washington, and maybe their small, quiet, reasonable voice is being heard, just a little bit.

Though, from what I know of politics (which is mostly gleaned from listening to NPR) that's probably all nonsense. It seems like reasonable isn't very fashionable in DC these days. Maybe it never was. So, I'm sure there's some kind of ulterior motive for this move. It's probably budget related. Maybe it's a blackmail tool, "if you repeal DOMA, I'll approve your tax cuts for the super wealthy."

Either way, for now, I'm pleased.