21 and over

I’m getting old. I am quickly approaching the last big hoorah for most young Americans. If I were home, I would be planning my big blowout. Instead, I am lucky enough to find myself in the ever-enchanting city of Paris, where 21 is just another number with no special entitlements.

It is funny to step back and realize what seems so important at home is totally different in the eyes of someone else. The 21st birthday has always appeared to me as a huge milestone in life, not just in a legal sense, but also as an imaginary line between youth and true adulthood. Interestingly, this change also comes at an important time in my political life. This year’s election will mark my first official vote for US president. I have a lot of new choices available and new decisions to make, which all come with new responsibilities and consequences.

Looking back, at the age of 20 I have jumped out of a plane, auditioned for Disney, conquered the Tough Mudder, graduated college, become a licensed nurse, spent my summer traveling North America, learned to shoot a gun, and moved to a different country. I have to say, it has been a successful year, as well as influential.

Thursday certainly will not be a traditional (American) 21-year-old celebration, but hey, I’m pretty far from traditional.

I look forward to an enjoyable night with my 9-year-old friends. I also look forward to growing up (but not getting old!). As I reflect on the last 21 years of my life, I want to thank my friends and family, from the bottom of my heart, for everything they have done. Especially mom and dad.

Now I’m wondering, what craziness can I expect from the next year of my life?