Walking to work this morning, buoyed by the hope that is Thursday, I was thinking about how I seem to have fewer clumsy moments than I used to; how I dress better (due, admittedly, to the demands of a professional work environment); how I’m more confident, more poised, wiser than I’ve ever been.
I dared to think that I’m finally shedding the last bits of adolescent awkwardness to reveal glimmers of adult style and grace.
Finally! I’ve become the young adult my eight-year-old self had envisioned while crafting elaborate plots for American Girl Dolls to enact. I imagined going back in time to meet myself at that age:
Young Holly would be untucked and a little shy, but eager to please and lead and make well-received jokes. We would sit side by side on the swings, and she would be in awe of me and my lipstick and my height and all the things I had read and learned and could talk about.
“You eat kale now,” I would confide in her, “Occasionally. Like, after eating chocolate, you eat kale. But it still counts.” She would believe me.
“And that girl in your class that you loathe and everyone else wants to be best friends with? She will eventually make some poor life choices and shock the world. But you knew it all along.” Young Holly would rub her hands together with glee.
“Some things are different now,” I would tell her. “Double pierced ears, for one. No bedtime. You and Amy hardly ever argue. You go see a movie whenever the heck you want to. You work at the largest library in the world.”
“You’ve done it,” she would tell me quietly, proudly.
This morning, I waited to cross an intersection, immensely satisfied that I had grown into my ideals at last.
Suddenly, a woman walked up beside me and beckoned for me to take my earbuds out.
“You might want to pull down the back of your skirt,” she told Young Adult Holly, “Your underwear is showing.”