Nobody Likes You When You’re Twenty-Three

Have you ever been a 23-year-old girl who looked in the mirror and felt like she saw herself for the first time?
It happened to me. Yesterday was my birthday. I woke up today, looked in the mirror, and saw me. I saw a beautiful young woman. Sometime in the middle of the night my lips had blossomed, my chubbiness had fallen off, and my short trimmed haircut finally seemed to fit my face.
I am not child, and I am not adult. It seems that I have evolved into this middle-morphosis of life that I am not familiar with. I am young, yet much is expected of me. This is the prime of my life supposedly.I feel like many people my age are like this. We will extend youth as long as we can.
When my mom was my age she was married and had a kid.
At no point do I see myself settling down. What is this path that I’ve taken?

I’m not sure, but I opened my eyes this morning like a door and saw things differently.
My life is shining, brimming with the tantalizing possibilities of what could be. I stand at the point where I will begin to fall towards the big black hole of the future, and I fear that I will viewing the opposite side before I know it, seeing all the shoulda-coulda-woulda-beens.

This afternoon I put on a little black dress and rode my bicycle.
I rode freely, my little black dress pulling up along my thighs and falling below my neck, and I felt, looking at the windows of a store, that I was the epitome of youth in that moment.

But this youth is different than what I’m familiar with. Youth to me is childhood. It was all those growing pains and… now this.
My legs are bare and long, pedaling.
And while biking I could see my mother shaking her head at me—riding a bicycle in a little black dress—— where I live!

I am not a child. My mother cannot scold me now.
I am not an adult. I ride my bicycle.

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