It’s November, and Novembers are always hard. The emotional roller coaster I take myself on during this month each year of my life is just out of control. I always have a love/hate relationship with my birth month. I put so much internal pressure on myself, magnifying all the details of my life, expecting to make some kind of miraculous changes that will make where I am in life at this time, alright. It doesn’t matter if the month before I was perfectly fine with the way things were. Yeah, yeah I’m a little crazy sometimes, did you not notice that yet? I’ve gotten better about this over time. I don’t even know what city I’ll be in on my birthday this year, but that doesn’t matter. Last year, even though I wasn’t really up to it, (I got a speeding ticket driving back to my hometown the night before and was a little bitter about it, you could say) I went and hung out at a local bar in town where everyone kind of has a mini-reunion the night before Thanksgiving. It’s kind of like this weird conglomeration of all the stages of life in one evening. So many people. I could see across the room a boy I’d written pages upon pages of letters to years before. He got married a long time ago, and most of the time I secretly wish all those letters got thrown away soon after they were read. If they were read. Two of my guy friends unexpectedly lifted me up on their shoulders and broke out into a crowd sing-along of happy birthday, which made my cheeks feel like they were on fire but I love them for anyways. Flirtatious conversations ensued by the pinball machine, but I’m not eighteen anymore, and these fleeting moments don’t really hold much weight. I took bathroom breaks with a girl I’d been friends with since seventh grade, where she told me stories about someone she’d rather not see there (and of course filled me on her perfect fit jeans and lip gloss that was a must buy.) She bought me a drink and we wandered around until I found one of my best friends. Elated to see him but an uncertain emptiness still lingering in the pit of my stomach. The kind that comes when you know you’re on the verge of making bad decisions, but convince yourself your old enough to know better why complicate things anymore than they already are. Practicing teaching myself to just say no when people tried to drag me to an after party I knew I’d get stuck at and be wide awake at four am wishing I were in my own bed. It’s probably one of the more adult decisions I’d made in a long time, as pathetic as that sounds, consciously avoiding time old ridiculous disaster. I thought I’d spend time with an old friend I thought things were patched over with, but she’s notoriously flaky and unreliable and no such meeting occurred. A boy I used to pine over kept putting himself in my path all evening, chatting like we were old friends, discussing a break up, complete awkwardness as set-in as I ran out of responses to this unusual conversation. It was like all the dead end adventures of my life decided to come back and haunt me. Of course all my friends disappeared, and I’m sitting at a high top table with my little brother and his friends who are planning their next move of the night. After a brief run in with another old ghost, and an unsettling conversation I knew it was time to call it a night. So, that was how my twenty-fourth year kicked off. It wasn’t really a bad start, it just took me off guard at the time.