"I have work. Then a dinner thing, and then I am busy trying to become who I am." - Hannah, Girls

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Baby Steps

Today I cut myself shaving for the first time ever. I've been shaving my legs for nearly a decade. You would think by now I would have nicked myself.

I've slipped and lost my footing while holding a razor. I've held razors with soapy and slippery hands. I've shaved both legs in under 30 seconds, haphazardly scraping my calves and thighs. And not once have I caused myself to bleed.

It seems most women have cut the backs of their ankles or knees countless times. I don't know why I have a perfect track record. Whatever the reason is, I don't think I'm proud of it.

When I was younger, I used to smirk and say, "I've never broken a bone." I don't tell people that anymore. It doesn't feel like bragging, but like I'm admitting an embarrassing secret.

I haven't needed a cast, gotten stitches, had a cavity, or even cut myself shaving (until today). My ignorance in these departments once felt like an achievement, and now I feel ashamed. These things have become indicators for my immaturity and lack of expierence--a word that attempts to describe the impossibly quantifiable moments that someone cooler than you has had.

I think I missed some sort of handbook between high school and college. Everyone else seems to have had it on their required reading list but me. I've never laid eyes on it, but I know the handbook isn't a set of rules. It's a list of instructions and checkpoints I should have reached by now, and I'm getting more and more behind as I get older.

My freshman roommate told me I'm "socially immature." And I agree with her. Becoming socially mature has been on my to-do list for over a year now.

I still don't know how to talk to boys. I get nervous in large groups of people. I worry about what other people think more than I should. I don't know shit about make-up. I don't get in trouble with my parents. My heart hasn't been broken. I haven't broken anyone's heart. I don't regret much. I follow most rules. I haven't made many mistakes.

I want to be upset or angry about bad things happening in my life. Instead, I'm upset and angry that bad things don't happen, which I realize sounds like a nonissue.

My life has been on cruise control for forever. I've tried to switch it off, and the button is stuck.

But today, I felt a sharp sting of pain on the outside of my left leg. I saw blood decorate my bathtub in streaks of red. I applied pressure with a Bounty paper towel for about an hour. I ended up with tiny scab that won't even leave a scar. But I've been going 60mph in a 70mph. And in the shower this morning I may have broken the speed limit, if only for a few seconds.

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