a reflection on being 21

21st birthday 21st birthday

April 23, 1994

Being able to legally drink anywhere in the world makes me feel invincible.

It’s been a week since I’ve turned 21, and I have to say, 21, you are so much fun. If you’ve already turned the big two-one, you know exactly what I’m talking about. One word. Two syllables. Freedom. It’s awesome.

No more branded black X’s on the backs of my hands, no more coughing up dollars on cover fees, no more feeling hesitant, no more feeling like a 16 year-old-stuck in a 20-year-old body.

But 21 is also much more than that.

21st birthday

When I’m asked if I feel any older, for the first time, my answer is a resounding yes. I would have never guessed that 20 would be one of the most significant years of my juvenile existence. I took leaps that were both petrifying, and necessary. I met people that have utterly set my entire world ablaze and challenged some of my most steadfast convictions.

21st birthday

No matter how stressful my day, how hard it may be to get out of bed, how much I crave friendships that dovetail, or how the nature of the night before pecks at my emotions like a hummingbird, I have yet to wake up feeling disenchanted by my surroundings. I can state that there has rarely been a day that I have not fallen in love with a new facet of life, of the world, and of myself.

21st birthday

The timid, cynical, small girl of my past is replaced by someone who is brave, capable, and self-aware; a girl who has no qualms about hugging twenty strangers in the back of a dark, dusty cafe at half past two in the morning, and elicits an impromptu boogie with a pair of friendly eyes on the sticky floors of a neighborhood music bar.

Or, the girl who swaggers onto a stage and raps an Iggy Azalea tune, mic in hand, to a room full of sweaty twenty-somethings, or becomes the consoler to a nostalgia-stricken friend on a pondside bench just after dusk.

A girl who is no longer afraid of allowing people to see her.

21st birthday

I am pleased to introduce 21-year-old Laurie. She’s a complex, overactive collection of paradoxes with a mouth for a heart, but she’s got more soul in her at the brink of adulthood than most obtain in a lifetime. I cannot wait to see the woman she becomes. She’s kind of cool. I think I may even like her.

Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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1 Comment

  • Angel
    May 7, 2015

    I think I may even love her. I’m in awe of the journey you’ve taken to accepting, loving, and sharing yourself.

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Laurie Hamame

Ball of sunshine. Chronic giggler. A lover of all things sweet potato. An overly friendly, world traveling, body positive warrior. Avid bookworm. Self-proclaimed chef and spiritually Italian. Promotor of daily walks, coffee dates and 30-second dance parties.

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