There is literally nothing wrong with me.
I’m kind. I’m interesting. Funny. Optimistic. I know how to properly use a semi colon & how to hem my own clothes [duct tape]. I drink beer and work out and wear makeup – but not too much. Granted, I don’t really know how to read a map and cry uncontrollably over a lot of books and asked someone last week if Boston was a city or a state.
I mean well. I sing and travel and make up jokes. I have very high standards and very low heels and have never once forgotten my Grandma’s birthday or parent’s anniversary. There is literally nothing wrong with me.
My friends are getting married & I’m eating potato chips.
For a long time, we were all on the same level. Our parent’s packed us sandwiches in plastic lunch boxes and we boarded the school bus. We played grounder at recess and did group projects and panicked when no one was picking us to be on their capture the flag team. We participated in track & field day and picked a book out of the library during library period. We sharpened pencils and had Pizza day and thought the fact our mom wouldn’t let us wear pajama pants to school was the biggest do-or-die situation we’d ever face.
Slowly we started to separate.
We started getting straight A’s in calculus and we started sleeping through class. We went to high school dances and died when that boy chose us for the slow song. We smoked the other team in basketball and smoked in the back parking lot. We got honours. We got detention. We got both.
We went back for an extra year or started working or travelled or college-d or uni-d. We kept in touch. We made new friends. We learned how much work we needed to put in in order to pass and spent the rest of the time hungover watching Friends re-runs. We met each others’ friends & they also became ours. We complained about essays and dishes and spent all of our money on midnight poutine.
We graduated again.
We went back to school. We travelled. We worked. We lost ourselves and found ourselves. We lost our keys and found holes in our socks. We stressed over our weight and our skin and the fact there simply wasn’t enough time in the day. We fell in love. We fell in debt. Our hearts and resumes got equally rejected. We laughed and cried and kissed that guy we once knew because it was dark and he was there and why not. For a long time we were all on the same playing field. But suddenly we were nowhere close.
We found love. We found Tinder. Some got married, some got wasted. This is a very weird time. An overwhelming time. An equal parts exciting and absolutely bizarre time.
You feel behind. And very ahead. And very settled on Monday & stressed out on Tuesday. You’re independent and strong and scared and empowered and happy and you just don’t know what the fuck is going on because your friend is painting their home and you’re painting your nails, and she’s excited about the fact they’re trying to start a family and you’re excited about the fact you got your tenth stamp on your coffee card and now get a free one. (Which, to be fair, is exciting. That shit adds up.)
But maybe it’s all okay. And maybe it doesn’t matter and your ripped jeans don’t matter and at the end of the day it really doesn’t matter what makeup brand you bought because you’re going to wash it off anyway (at least I hope you are! Keep that skin young people!) Maybe it’s okay you’re all on different levels because you’re all happy. And your happy is different than his happy and her happy and that other guy’s happy. And as long as you’re happy, who cares if it’s due to a new roof or a new book.
Maybe all we really need is to find inspiration. To drink our coffee by the lake and go canoeing and find people who fill your heart with so much joy you actually can’t help but smile when you see them. Maybe we need to have [veggie] taco night and drink wine on patios and simply love the shit out of our lives. And regardless of what stage we’re at and what stage our friend is at and what stage that acne-prone kid in the 9th grade is at, all that really matters is we love where we are at.
So, date. Don’t date. Drink beer (or not). Sing in the shower and love your job and forget about that stupid guy who told you you weren’t girlfriend material because he’s laaaaame and probably forgets to do up his fly sometimes and that’s so embarrassing. Learn the guitar. Splurge on cheese. Get a pedicure in the winter simply because it makes you happy. Eat guacamole. And love every second of it.
Because there’s literally nothing wrong with you.
Ps. Boston is, in fact, a city – not a state.
Leah Ruehlicke lives in a tiny apartment downtown Toronto with bad water pressure and an amazing book collection. She’ll never get sick of Celine Dion’s Greatest Hits and hates when people classify themselves as ‘foodies’. Read more from her on Twitter.