I’m 22 now. I’ve done things that I could only dream of as a restless teenager waiting for the day she could escape her suburban hellscape. I made it to New York. Instead of suffering through hours of calculus and ecology, I’m studying the subjects I love the most. I’ve learned so much in these last four years, not only through my education but just from living. Thinking of where I was at this very moment four years ago, taking the SAT on my 18th birthday, I almost cannot recognize who I was. I was still putting on an act, performing the role of who I wanted to be instead of just being that person I had conceived in my head with my overactive imagination. Would she be proud of me? I think she would. I’m getting tired of New York now. I don’t know if I want to live here forever. 18-year-old me would probably be repulsed by that comment, but I know what I need to be happy. I think I might leave the country for a while. Keep studying, experience new things, and maybe in a few years I’ll reevaluate where I want to settle down. For now, I’m just trying to get my body in the same location as my mind, because it moved on a long time ago.

22 songs to celebrate my 22nd birthday.

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