Smooth skin and the ability to live without sleep aside, being 22 was not all it was cracked up to be.
The idea of living with six strangers in an unheated, run-down house now seems more like a surreal "How could I ever have done that?" fever-dream—or possibly a reality-tv show you once saw—and less like a year of your own life.
You've finally figured out which type of birth control works best for you.
You're too smart to adopt a kitten on a whim. You know how long those little bundles of fluff live.
You know how to work. As book-seller-turned-novelist Emma Straub wrote in a great piece on late bloomers for Rookie, "When I was 22, I thought that I deserved success just because I wanted it, and not because I'd actually earned it." When she hadn't achieved her life goal of publishing a novel by 25, she realized something wonderful: "...nothing happened to my drive to write—there was no age limit on my imagination or creativity."
You can do the Sunday crossword. You've learned all those tricky clues by now.
You've stopped worrying about labels: "I'm a feminist—wait, no, I'm a freegan—wait, no, I'm a devoted anti-fracking canvasser." Eventually, you are who you are. As Mae West said, "It isn't what I do, but how I do it."
You can spend the holidays anywhere you like. Including at' 'home with Mom and Dad, instead of in Brazil with some dopey, moody fake-rebel guy you'll never see again.
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