While turning twenty felt like the end of an epoch, twenty-one feels rather quiet and inconsequential. Besides the practical aspect of having finally turned an age that my peers have all been for months, I’m looking back on the last year and, uncharacteristically, don’t have much to say. Sure, things happened. But they all sort of passed uneventfully.

It’s as if becoming an adult just crept up on me. I went through my year generally unfazed by situations that came my way. Drama has lost its appeal, at least in my own life. It feels like I’ve spent a lot of time knowing that things needed to be done and simply doing them, which is far less exciting to talk and write about but much more effective for general achievement. I’ve stopped making excuses. I’m keenly aware of the value and scarcity of time. What I really mean to say here is that I think I’ve reached my final form.

Of course, I know there’s still plenty of room to change and grow. But I distinctly feel now that I am a person I’d like to remain. And that’s not a feeling I’ve had before.

I started this blog at eighteen, a freshly minted legal adult. It’s called Cocoon because I felt like I was still hibernating, marinating, waiting. And now, this waiting has stopped. Becoming one’s proper self, I think, is about casting aside the rash, fanciful temptation to view life through reaction. It’s hitting pause on the mad swell of emotion and instead noticing quieter things— the crudeness of our lives, the tenderness we all share.

Spending my first twenty years chasing stories, I’m done trying to be noteworthy. I’m really just tired of pretending and watching and saying things that waste my time. It’s always so trendy to abandon obligation and hunt for some greater purpose or meaning, be it intellect or romance or adventure. They all seem otherworldly, somehow better than the drab, poor mundanity of what we currently feel we are. But I’m over trying to leave this world in pursuit of the vague notion that there is something better. I really don’t think there is. I have things to do here, things that will take me a while. And I think they’re just as exciting as all that I once wished I’d do.

Maybe it’s just my view that’s changed. Maybe intellect was always just the spark of researching a topic and having something to say, or romance just the comfort of coming home, or even adventure only the warmth of a friendship, ready to bloom. Perhaps this is just growing up. In any case, I’ve stopped looking for such things. I’ve realized they just happen anyway, on their own, unannounced, all the time. So I’ll be here, about my business, when they do.

To read my birthday posts from previous years, check out Chapter Twenty and Chapter Nineteen.

Also— it’s been a while. I took the summer off blogging to, well, work. But I’m back and more ready than ever to create more content that I’m proud to share. Stay tuned.