It’s One of Those Ages

I turned 19 on February third of last year (2012). And now I’m 20.

(SURPRISE!)

But…

19 is one of Those ages, I’ve figured out…

Those ages, in case you’re wondering, are usually ages in which it’s hard to multiply to get without 1 being one of the multiples.

You know, 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 13, 17, 19, 23 etc, etc, etc…? I’m probably missing a number in between that, but…

Well, from what I can figure out, most of these numbers are significant ages to be, either to parents or to society or to you, as you are at that (or before that) age. It is from these ages you compare yourself to your younger self.

A baby turning 1 year old is a landmark in aging. But, like with dogs and pets in general, it’ll probably be until that baby is close to or past the 2 year mark before your age will be measured by years consistently, rather than by months.

If you ask Lexy how old Gwynn is, she will respond with “Almost three” or “Three in March” but once, for a while, she used wild numbers like 13/14/15/… months old.

It was a strange time that made me have to think a moment as I subtracted 12 from that number, and then… wait no, that would make him…

Ah.

(You redevelop math skills like this when you get a pet, or a baby, by the way. You don’t realize how much simple math you’ve lost until this time comes)

Turning 3 seems like an important age to me, as it is the first year after you’re two, giving you one full year of being referred to by year-age rather than by month-age. I don’t have a baby, and Gwynn is not yet 3, so I wouldn’t be able to tell you any other significance, except that maybe at the 3 year mark Gwynn, and possibly babies in general, will have learned a few new tricks.

Perhaps he will have learned not to go ape-shit over cats.

Unlikely, but a hopeful possibility.

5 seems to be that age that you’re constantly hearing/reading/seeing children being thereabouts. They are either almost 5 or are corrected to that they are only 5, not six for a couple of months yet. Or, they “Justh turned thixth”(say with clear lisp) and have likely lost a tooth. 5 is that age that you just want to BE. You never hear about your inner 4-year-olds or 6-year-olds. That’s because 5 is infinitely better than either of those.

Because you’re FIVE.

Later in life you will find out that you like fives even better, especially when learning your times tables, and find out that multiplying 5 is even easier than multiplying by 2’s.

But enough about 5’s, let’s move onto 7.

7 is important for a number of reasons, and not just because Voldemort had 7 Horcruxes and you always forget the last one or two from the list you try to keep in your mind, and not just because it was one of the most important numbers I learned because Mom sat me down and had me learn the days of the week. This was when I once thought that it was the weekend on a Wednesday based wholly on the fact that the alarm hadn’t gone off. 7 is important because you can finally leave 5 behind.

The memory of 5 is an immature phantom of a memory, filled with scuffed knees, grass stains, hair pullings and crying for no good reason. You have moved past the age of 6, even, with all the reminders of being 5 being brought up, and you are now free to luxuriate in your maturity and lording your advanced age over those stuck in the vortex that happens around 5.

Writing down your age becomes a skewed checkmark of age and maturity, writing it in letters gives you the chance to write a ‘V’ for something other than ‘GIVE’, and you take something from that and maybe think if there’s a number out there that has an ‘X’ in it, or maybe a ‘Z’ because you really don’t get to use those that often.

Of course, Lexy has a friend she’s known from childhood whose name is Aziza.

I doubt she had thoughts like these.

(I think I stopped having this wonder for the letter ‘Z’ when I realized fully that one of my middle names could be spelled with a ‘z’ and decided to spell it as such, and it was only in the past couple of years that I have confirmed that on my birth certificate the possible worry of being an Elisabeth Rose was left for the certainty of being an Elizabeth Rose. Because I’m trying to be as honest as I can be while on the Internet, I’m going to admit that for a while there I think I was overzealous and decided I was an Elizabeth Roze)

(It made sense at the time…)

While moving on to 11 I am going to stop for a moment and take away the notion that 9 or 10 are important figures.

9 is a multiple of 3 and while it may seem mysterious by being almost as hard as your 7 times tables, it is not. You are past the smaller vortex (in comparison to 5) of 7 and are next to the little ball that is 10.

10 is insecure but vicious. If 9 tries to pull weight, it simply rolls over and squashes 9 with the fact that 10 is better than 9. 10 has 2 numbers.

It’s Double Digits.

9 can’t get past that. If you’re 9 YOU can’t get past that.

You must remember here that I’m not making up personalities for numbers, this is how I half remember/half imagine a child’s mindset is like. I wrote a great deal of my Harry Potter fanfiction “It’s Green” going on this, and managed to get a number of reviews on my realistic and odd young Harry… Which is flattering, but also makes me think that I won’t be able to write the personality of anyone over the age of 11…

And that would suck.

Back to numbers.

10 is insecure because while it has lorded its double digits-ness over 9 and occasionally 8, it IS right next to 11.

As grand as entering the double digits of age is, it’s not nearly as awesome as moving past that pinnacle to a new height of age.

11.

10 has the misfortune of having a zero in it.

Zeroes, as we have been taught in school, means nothing.

10, as great as it is, is written down as a 1 and a 0, a something, and a nothing.

11 has the amazingness of being the first number in the double digits that doesn’t have a 0 in it. 11 is also when you leave all the 9’s behind, because you are beyond being 10 and have no time to play with babies. Because that is what anyone is if they are still stuck within the limitations of the single digit of age, at least compared to you.

12 year olds matter nothing unless you yourself are a 12-year-old with other 12 year olds, or you are a 12-year-old who knows or encounters a 13-year-old.

Because, a 13-year-old was once… not a teenager.

But is one for the next 7 years or so.

(it’s hard to shake that image from The Adult’s minds)

Yes, when you turn 13 you are experienced in the ways of the double-digit-age enough to be accepted into the ranks of teenagerhood.

I imagine it’s very much like being accepted into street gang. Or maybe the Mafia.

It’s dark, it’s dirty, you are going to be introduced to a whole slew of sights, experiences, smells that you would have liked to be spared from, you will meet people who you may not like but are now part of different rules, ones that will remember you if you report them to the authorities of the Parentals… the ones from their district or yours, it matters not, they will remember and do their best to repay in kind or else find some other way to return the favour.

They will shank you for your candy…

And give bald-faces lies to the Adults about what happened, and you can say nothing.

I know (for the most part) that that’s not how it works, not exactly, but if someone can come up with a better example of what you are getting yourself into by unknowingly agreeing to join this… group… well. Feel free to step forward with your own post, and link me 🙂

But, regardless of your newby status, Parents will expect just a bit more from you, as the Responsible Teen you are, perhaps playing on your sense of new duty and responsibility to get you to do more around the house, set a ‘good example’.

This is an important stage in your life.

The next is 17.

I think that people will think that 16 should be one of Those ages, but aside from “Sweet 16” what is there, really? You can now get your driver’s license… Wonderful.

Due to new laws (at least in Ontario) you must wait a full year after getting your G1 to get your G2. You will be 17 when you are even remotely close to getting your real license.

17 is important for more than this real license, though, and it’s the reason why, in Canada at least, 18 is only really important if you’re in (or, I guess, beside) Quebec.

17 is when you’re preparing yourself for the fact that you will soon have to take the consequences for things that may or may not get you into serious trouble.

18 is when you are putting to use all these thoughts or concepts of responsibility, but 17 is for where you can get paranoid.

It’s about this time when you also have to start thinking about the Future… about University and College, what your major will be, what you want to do with THE REST OF YOUR LIFE.

It’s scary.

Feel free to feel paranoid.

Be afraid.

It’s be a whirlwind, gale forces of GRADESGRADESGRADES whipping around you, sharp rocks of EXPECTATIONSEXPECTATIONSEXPECTATIONS will give you shallow cuts that sting, and you’ll be desperately trying to stay near the eye of the storm.

You’ll be desperate to stay there, because there’s always that possibility that the winds and rocks will chuck you any which direction, and you could land anywhere.

It’s not likely it’s going to be a place you like.

A few will actually be able to stay in the eye of this storm… until they’re turning 18 that is.

Those who have been struggling to stay near the centre will have gained endurance, will have scouted were they could land, and will have calmed down some by this time, but those who were suddenly jolted from their place at the Eye…

Well shit it’s scary being plucked from your comfortable place, isn’t it?

17 is the slightly more significant time, I think, and if you think it’s actually 18…

Well, of course you’d think so.

17 is desperately gripping at 18 and trying to stay grounded in that shit-storm as drama and grades get thrown around in school, jobs and money problems biting at tender unprotected areas like vicious mosquitos, and 18 is freaking out.

17 has already screamed itself hoarse, why else would 18 be louder?

For those who have later birthdays, it IS 18 that’s scary, but I’m talking from my own experience, so stick with me okay?

19…

Well 19 is scary.

And fantastic if you happen to live somewhere that the drinking age is 19.

Like, perhaps… ONTARIO???? Or Canada… (I live there, whaddya know…)

I was in luck while in Ottawa in that Hull (sketchy part of Quebec, drinking age 18, sketchy party/club central for the underages of Ottawa), in that for the few months before my birthday I could get alcohol, and afterwards I could still go out drinking with my friends whose birthdays were in Oct-Dec, and so were less than legal in Ottawa.

(I’m not saying anything about having an apartment-style res and being legal in a group of under-aged friends. Also, yes, 2+2=4)

But yeah, 19 means first year uni/college, or else it means succeeding in surviving first year, or not.

(Me? Kind of not, but I’m working on getting back in that tipped canoe, it’s a bit hard, but I’m doing it)

It means you’re trying to find the friends you’ll likely be closest with for the next four-or-so years, making connections, keeping your head above water and clothes the least wet…

Stressful.

But a very important time.

20…

Well, I’m only turning 20 now (Happy Feb 3rd everyone! Happy Birthday to me!), so I don’t know how it’ll pan out, but I have hopes.

I feel like I’m significantly more mature (Maybe… My mom would laugh, as would Lexy and maybe just about everyone who knows me), but it could just be because now I can say “I’m 20”

Because hell yes! I’m 20!

But on the other hand… I’m two decades old.

I feel like I should be whipping out cocktail dresses and be brushing off cobwebs at the same time.

This is said because of the two decades thing…

It’s not two centuries, no, but it’s a bulk unit of time.

Seconds, Minutes, Hours=Nothing.

Days, Weeks, Months= the make up of a year. So?

Decade= Impressive. That’s a bulk unit of time, the likes of which you haven’t been able to process by the time you’re 1 decade old. You have no idea.

Literally, for em, since i think I was still spelling ‘idea’ as ‘ida’ because I thought the ‘de’ in ‘idea’ was satisfied with just the letter.

No idea, I tell you.

(only Ida’s)

2 decades= 2 FREAKING DECADES! That seems like a lot! That’s MORE than ONE!

WOW!

Whoever can count their age by more than one decade is obviously super OLD!

And now I’m part of that group.

I’ve been kicked from the Teenager-Gang and have joined the Decade Group.

I don’t know what it’s going to mean for me, and I don’t know what it’s meant to other people…

I hope there are more cookies in this group though.

Happy February 3rd everyone!

 

Confessing my Skating Guilt….

So, this past weekend I went with a couple of my friends down to the canal to go skating. It was fun, and brought back memories even as I saw huge changes to what I remember.

We went at night, so there was skating snow everywhere on the ice, and it reminded me fondly of when my parents used to get REALLY angry and concerned for me when I was a child.

See, I had the habit of deciding to sit down and play with the snow. During the busy day-time hours, in the middle of the canal.

I don’t remember this being because I was tired or anything, just that I wanted to try making a snowman or something. Sometimes a snow angel.

Nevermind the blades of horrible child-death that were whooshing around my tiny form.

I was a kid. I was brought there by my parents.

No harm could come to me.

I was invincible. No harm could come from sitting in the middle of this.

The area’s I remember for having booths for hot chocolate and beavertails still had those odd little buildings on the ice, but they now have this even larger building thing for changing into skates and whatnot. They also had a building to rent skates, knee pads and whatever else you may need as a tourist.

When I was little I think I asked just about every year how the buildings managed to stay there when the ice melted.

I had never been there during the not-frozen-over years, and thought that the buildings were maybe stuck to the side of the canal.

Or maybe the canal was frozen over all the time.

Or maybe the buildings had huuuuge basement parts that went down to the bottom of the canal, so that the buildings weren’t floating on the canal, they were sicking out of it.

I don’t think I ever believed my parents when they said that they brought the buildings onto the ice, they didn’t stay there year-round.

Now, of course, I know that they use some sort of Ottawarrian ice magic to put the buildings on the ice as soon as they have forced the ice to be thick enough to support them.

But when I went with my friends, it was about 8:30pm or so, and so significantly less busy.

It was darker than this, but about as busy

Meghan, a native Ottawarrior, I thought she would be closer to my level skating-wize, as she had the opportunity to go skating on the canal every day should she want to. It didn’t matter that she’s from Kanata. Turns out that she’s more of a rusty skater than anything, and I”m fine with that. A lot of my friends are at this stage in Toronto, and so I’m used to skating around them and working with their pace to do huge loops around them to be able to go as quickly as I want, get as much exercise as I want, and still be able to keep up a conversation.

Eleanor, I admit that until this past winter break I thought she would be at the same level as Meghan is actually at. This past winter break she got a job to teach children how to skate. When we went skating, I saw that she doesn’t look as comfortable skating as I thought she would, but she’s good at skating. She definitely doesn’t look as comfortable skating as I do.

I’m going to pause on that here, and mention for the sake of people who don’t know me that I have been playing hockey since I was 5. Lets round that up to 6 though, because I was signed up for playing hockey when I didn’t know how to skate.

Then, up until I was about 10 or 11 I did skating lessons, and Hockey Skills classes where they taught me how to skate better than all the other kids my age group, and do it while having a stick in my hand and doing my best to carry a puck, aim, keep it away from all the boys in the class (I was pretty much the only girl, but that was no difference to the fact that I was on a boys team), and NOT fall down.

I still fell down a lot, but I had Hockey equipment on.

My mom, confidence boosting as she is, has mentioned numerous times that she can’t believe how ‘graceful’ on the ice I am. I’m fine with that. I take it to mean that she can’t believe how awesome on the ice I am.

I’m not being overconfident. I know that there are people out there who are better at skating, who are better at playing hockey than me. Hell, I still have problems raising the puck when playing (shooting the puck so that it lifts off the ice).

But it’s not arrogance to say that I’m a more than decent player, or more than decent at skating.

Meghan can skate. Eleanor is a decent skater.

Melissa, the other friend who was with us when skating, is not a good skater.

She does that shuffle down the ice, looking stiff and uncomfortable as she stares at the toes of her skates and hopes she doesn’t fall down.

I really don’t like skating with her.

I really like her, she’s a great friend, has a great sense of humour, and I feel really bad about thinking this, but I really don’t ever want to go skating with her.

Again, I mean.

I’m a horrible person.

She hasn’t gone skating for like 3 years, and after skating with her for 30 minutes I’m thinking she sucks and I don’t want to skate with her.

I’m thinking that she needs to get a chair to help her skate.

I’m thinking that I really don’t want to ever go skating with her again.

I suck.

GUILT!

I feel like I wouldn’t have thought these things if she hadn’t been as bad a skater as she was, and made it seem like we should have at least one of us skating right next to her.

I feel like she wasn’t having fun at all either.

I also feel like if I hadn’t been as enthusiastic about skating as I was, she would have felt better about saying that she didn’t want to skate anymore.

I SUCK!

What kind of friend thinks this stuff up and then posts it on a blog???

I just needed to mention it to SOMEONE, and I didn’t want to mention it to a friend 😦

I love skating, but I don’t like skating alone if I can help it…

BAH!

Now the internet can see my guilt, and point its gigantic finger at my shame. I feel a bit better after three days, but still…