Monthly Archives: July 2016

Quieting the tick-tock of 23

RAGBRAI truckA paper chain hung from my mirror before every birthday growing up. I cut paper strips for hours, sometimes rainbow, sometimes blue or pink (my favorite colors). I counted up, making sure to represent each day until my birthday; then I counted down, wanting desperately for the cake and parties and friends and streamers and a new year of me to get here, every November 24.

I’ve never needed a birthday as badly as I need 24.

I’ve existed this year in a natural state of countdowns, one appointment to the next, to my final weekly IV, to the LSAT, now, to 24. My paper-chain era reemerged in my memory; I pictured myself triumphantly ripping off one ring each day until November. I contorted what was a happy ritual, a celebration, into a dismissal of an entire year, an erasure of my own experiences.

It is easy to await a new beginning, to ruminate on all the newness 24 will bring: going to law school, moving to a new city, traveling to Europe with my sister before we both go to new universities. They’re shiny prospects, each one physically far away from the tedium and unwanted familiarity of a painful, trying year. Continue reading

Cobbled together in 2016

This photo from 80/35 captures my summer vibes.

This photo from 80/35 captures my summer vibes.

It is funny how I find myself cobbling together bits and pieces of me, envisioning some kind of perfect, never-to-be-realized blend of my existence. I want the free time of my 17-year-old summer. I want to play tennis like 18-year-old Taylor. I want to drink like 21-year-old me. But I reject each of them in their wholeness, remembering the awkwardness of my college search at 17, the cancer scare at 18, the boy I spent a year-and-a-half getting over at 21.

I am eternally cobbled together, a blend of good and bad, of clumsy transitions and moments in which I feel like a damn fine grown-up lady. This is 23, to quote my own Twitter saying like a true millennial.

2016 is erratic, an unpredictable compilation of tedium and triumph. I got blood transfusions. A man told me he loved me and meant it. I ran a half-marathon. I cried about bread. I took the LSAT. (I took a lot of shots after getting my LSAT score back.) I survived six weekly IVs. Continue reading

I’m going to law school

In other life news, I tried to be one with nature last weekend.

In other life news, I tried to be one with nature last weekend. I took a selfie in a park and went trail running.

We sprawled on the floor of his fraternity house, rulers, paper slips and Spotted Cow bottles encircling us. We taped and talked, perfecting the poster for his senior pre-law thesis. He wanted to study sports law. I wanted to make it through my junior journalism capstone. He wanted to get into Marquette (he did). I wanted to stay in Des Moines and find a summer internship. That semester-long, unspoken “What are we?” flirtationship faded with his graduation, but I kept law school in mind.

I remember looking at law programs my junior and senior years of college. I didn’t tell anyone, even as the guy I was seeing navigated the law school application process.

We’re not ready for our dreams sometimes. Continue reading