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I’ve been 22 for two weeks now, and I still feel equally 21, or 25, or 40. Sometimes, like when I drop all the steamed milk on the floor at work, I feel 10. It’s times like these that I picture my 10 year old self, shaking her head and thinking my 22 year old self would have her shit way more together than she does. Still- no use crying, right?

I gave myself the gift of a trip to urgent care on the big day- receiving in lieu of candles and cake a MRSA diagnosis and a hefty round of antibiotics. I picked up a bottle of nail polish at the drug store for a friend who’s taken to painting his toes, then drove home for my “party,” which I’d been sternly informed would have a hentai theme.

For those of you who don’t know, (I didn’t) hentai is anime porn. It usually involves tentacles and, as we discovered, some truly disturbing sound effects.

Why my friends thought I would like a hentai party is beyond me. Why my friends thought they would like a hentai party is equally baffling. But we made eggrolls and dutifully watched a few minutes before getting too freaked out, turning it off and reverting back to our usual dinnertime antics. And that was my 22nd birthday; staph, nailpolish and hentai. Bet my 10 year old self didn’t see that one coming.

I guess if there’s one thing my 22 year old self knows that my 10 and 21 year old selves didn’t, it’s that no one’s going to tell you whether or not you’re doing this whole life thing right. My damn liberal degree forces me to consider the possibility that everything, even hentai, has the potential to be “right”- but I’m discovering that when it comes to hitting “stop” or “next scene”, sometimes you just know what to do. And honestly that’s about as much a rudder as I’ve got right now.

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