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  • Writer's pictureOlivia Hill

The Wasted Years

For the first time in my life, I am lying about my age.

One - I don’t think I’m actually lying, I just genuinely forget the number and didn’t say last year’s age enough, so I genuinely believe I’m there. If I catch myself saying the wrong age with someone I respect and like, I correct myself.

Two - Aren’t we allowed to kind of throw some years into the abyss? I barely did any stand up from Spring of 2020 to Spring of 2021. So when people ask "How long you've been doing this [stand up] for?" I shave off that year in the count. I don’t think it’s a lie, I just didn’t stay active that year.

Three - I always thought I had been sober for three years, until I’d sit down and really count it. It would shake out to be 2 years and a month, or 2 years and eight months. I’d either round up to three to not sound Type A pretentious or because I just genuinely thought it had been 3 years. If I really wanted to, I'd bring out my little fingers to do the exact month math.

Four - I thought I’d die when I was 17. I had this looming peace for most of my teen years that I wouldn’t make it past 17. I wasn’t suicidal, and I wasn’t in a bad situation, I just had this feeling it would happen with the same kind of grounded assumptive feeling you have about knowing college takes about four years to complete. I survived many years past 17.

Five - In my early 20’s I despised when my female friends (do I even need to specify? I’ve never heard a guy feel embarrassed about completing another lap around the sun) would be embarrassed about their age past 21. They’d treat 24 like it was 68, or 72, or 99. I’d get so annoyed at girls commenting on social media posts that they were turning "21 again!" I was so excited to get older, and I thought that contrarian feeling would last forever. Now I live in a city that is obsessed with youth, and age, and needles to the face, so maybe it’s finally worn me down. Maybe it's karma.

Six - I am finally in a place where I can make my teenage dreams come true. I have my dream closet with my colorful heels all lined up, I have purple and hot pink lights in my room. I have a vanity strewn with my favorite make up products. It took adulthood to finally get things I idolized as a preteen but Girl’s got goals and She’ll accomplish them.

Seven - There is a folded up piece of paper with a name on it under my pillow, that doesn’t feel very "my age."

Eight - I have green eyes, and I’ve always known that when I’m excited about life the iris becomes light and bright like the shade of a spring time meadow. But they don’t POP like that all the time. Sometimes they're muddy and dark, and it takes people a while to see them. I just recently realized that when I’m “excited about life,” I tend to be more well rested and thus literally lifting my eye lids higher, so naturally more light is allowed to leak in and spotlight them. I don't see them glow that much of as of late because I've looked tired for a disgustingly long time.

Nine - There are bags under my eyes that only protrude when I tilt my head down and look up. I have a joke about this that I tell on stages to unsuspecting listeners about how it ages me when I give head. (Insert act-out). It’s better delivered in person.

Ten - I had one new white hair protruding from the back of my crown like I was a fucking character from a Dr. Seuss book. I was always afraid of the adage that if you pluck one, two grow back so I let it stay for a while, drenching it in green dye when I’d reapply my signature color. It was so intent on being white it would not take any dye I put on it. Proving it was the unicorn of my head. One day I got sick and tired of it, so I plucked it. I wondered if it was the manifestation of being in love with my ex’s grey hair. He was only a year older than me.

Eleven - One of the ways my ex tried to push me away was to tell me that he, “didn’t want to waste my time.” I assured him he wasn’t because no one else was captivating my interest, despite me allowing the possibilities of someone to do so all the time.

Twelve - When my friends try to change something about themselves and fail to even begin, I remind them it took me five years of knowing I needed to quit drinking before I did. It was a sad realization to have on your 21st year on planet Earth.

Thirteen - I share the same birthdate as Pete Davidson. So I guess if you ever wanted to just know the truth, that’s what you would Google.

Fourteen - I’m reading my friend’s book right now, it’s so cool to turn the pages and put it next to my bedside when I think I’m tired for the night. I put my head to my pillow and get too excited about how I’d write about my own life and the people in it that I usually throw notes into my phone or just grab my laptop and write. I think about the age she was in some of her stories and where my path lies in conjunction with hers. I look up to her when it comes to writing. I went to a party she threw once and told her friend I was a writer too and they kind of scoffed and said, “But ******* is a real writer, she writes and posts like, everyday.” I didn’t have a writing regimen at that time in my life and I let myself believe off of that reason that I wasn’t as good. I’m glad I paid for this website and I’m glad you’re here reading it.

Fifteen - I am a Scorpio. I am also a Scorpio Stellium. For lame mens terms: I’m a Scorpio to the Scorpioth degree, and once again, whatever problem you have with Pete Davidson is probably something I’d try to defend. It’s not fair being marked the “crazy” ones of the zodiac.

Sixteen - I've been noticing the women in this city who don't look like they've had work done, but also look extremely young. I take stock of an interesting fact they all have in common: they don't have kids.

Seventeen- When I first moved to Los Angeles I was excited for what an informational interviewee once told me: "It takes 10 years of hustling before you make it." It's so exciting when you're staring down the road, then when you're part way through you start panicking. What if it doesn't take 10 years? What if it takes longer? Why does it feel like my peers hit their end point before 10 years? What if there is no end? How did all this time pass by? Where did my excitement go?

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This has been a part of the series Sad Stories To Make Sense of My Mind. The Table of Contents will direct you to a list of descriptions to choose what heart string you'd like pulled next.

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#4 is so relatable. My age was 25, and I think a big part of my writing is trying to make sense of that period just beforehand. Anyway, thanks for the vulnerability, friend! ❤️ this and ❤️ you!

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