I recently turned 21, an exciting turning point in anyone's life. To mark the monumental occasion I got all dressed up and headed down to the DMV to get a new license. I should've known better than to expect everything to go smoothly. 4 years ago when I got my drivers license I failed my driving test and had to head home with my hair and makeup done very nicely, and no new ID. Now, as a 21 year old, I showed up to the DMV to see that appointments were required, despite the fact that my city had not required DMV appointments a month ago, and the earliest appointment I could get was March 11th. Covid restrictions aside, (because I don't want to spend a whole post going back and forth about the social implications of covid because I am so over thinking about it) I was really disappointed and frustrated. I had been so excited to get a new ID. It was such a big deal to me.
But why? Why do I need a new ID so badly? Why did I feel the same crushing disappointment I did when I was 16 and getting my new license was delayed by a few days?
I'm very into symbolic change. I like getting new haircuts, new clothes, cleaning my room, or getting a new ID to symbolize my stepping into a new phase of life. My aunt and uncle sent me a birthday card that got way too deep and hit way too close to home. It read, '21 is the time where you decide who you are, and who you want to be, and if you like the person you are now.' The quote has been haunting me ever since.
Do I like myself? Am I where I want to be in life?
For the past year I've been sucked into an endless hole of negativity. Nothing is positive and every memory is tainted with cynicism. It sucks, because its gotten to the point where I answer questions like that with a definitive 'No', not because I actually don't like myself, but because I've gotten to the point where it's difficult to see the good things, and so I hyperfixate on the negative things.
I wanted a new ID because I wanted to start over. I wanted to start living the life I want. But I didn't realize I already had everything I need, and that I truly am happy.
The one area I want to work on moving forward is not only to have a more positive outlook, but to disregard the opinions of others. I've let other people and their opinions have too much control over my life. I've let comparison and insecurity run my whole view of myself, to the point where my own feelings about my own life are lost in a sea of comments and input from other people. This pandemic taught me a lot about being alone, but now that I'm not alone anymore I feel like I've lost my footing.
I'm set to get a new ID on March 11th. I am once again going to get dressed up and go to the DMV to get a new picture and a new ID. Hopefully this time it'll work out, and hopefully it can be the start of something positive. Hopefully it can be the start of living for myself, and looking for the positive, and putting my needs and my opinion of myself first.
written controversially by
grace and hannah