Alexandra Duncan

Science Fiction. Fantasy. Feminism.


Today I'm turning 25, and it's freaking me out a little bit. I know it shouldn't, because 25 is still pretty young in the grand scheme of things, but I can't shake the feeling that HOLY JESUS, SHOULDN'T I HAVE MY LIFE MORE TOGETHER?

It's silly, because I have a job I truly like in a field where I want to stay, a sweet, funny, wonderfully smart husband, two endlessly entertaining pets, and a roof over my head. But at the same time, I feel like I'd better step on it if I'm going to do all those important life things I want to do, such as go to grad school for my MFA in creative writing, start saving to buy a house (or at least a Japanese car), and get myself to a point where Jeremy and I aren't living paycheck to paycheck.

Which made me start thinking about all the things I wanted to do when I was a teenager, but haven't gotten around to yet. These are:

1. Get a tattoo
2. Pierce my nose
3. Dye my hair bright red

Basically, I wanted to be Franka Potente in Run Lola Run.
If you don't know me, let me assure you, I would be a very different person if I had done these things in my teenagerhood. I would be cool and fearless, rather than a bookish hypochondriac.

Then, the other day, it dawned on me that if I was going to do any of those things, I had better go ahead and do them before I turned 30.

I seriously considered getting a tattoo for a few months, but I started worrying that I would end up thinking my hypothetical tattoo was dumb and meaningless several years from now. And also that I would get hepatitis (thanks, Mom). That left the nose ring and the hair. For some reason, I feel like I missed my window of opportunity to get a nose ring when the '90s ended. I know several people who have nose rings and bring them off well, but on me, I think it would feel affected. Too Joan Osborne.

Have you guessed where this is heading?

I won't hold you in suspense any more, dear reader. Last Friday, I went over to the hairdresser and had them dye my hair, with my boss's blessings. (Thank goodness my town is known for its eclectic style. I don't think my hairdo would have flown in any other city in the Southeast.) No, I didn't quite go Franka Potente, but my hair is now a bit too funky for the corporate world, which is just what I was hoping for.
Yes, that's me, looking dorky.

I probably wouldn't have gotten myself psyched up to do this if it hadn't been for my friend Stephanie, over at Natural/Artificial, who dyed her hair peacock blue earlier this year. After she did it, I confessed I had wanted to dye my hair since I was 15, and she told me I had to do it as soon as I got my next paycheck. So, yes, I bowed to peer pressure, albiet not in a timely manner. Yet I couldn't be happier. I should have tried this back when I was in college, but I don't know if I would have enjoyed it as much then. And also, what would I have done when I turned 25? Thanks, Stephanie!

So now I've been vain and girly, as promised. Next time I'll be sure to include a thoughtful analysis of our political situation and an essay on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged, but for today, I'm taking a break.

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