Happy Hobbit Day! September twenty-second is the birthday of both Frodo and Bilbo Baggins. For such small creatures, hobbits certainly do throw big celebrations. They also have a tradition of giving speeches at every important occasion and during the “Long-Expected Party” on his eleventy-first birthday, Bilbo gave a speech that, shall we say, rather surprised the residents of the Shire.
As today is my seventeenth birthday, I think I’ll give a little speech too.
“Seventeen. Wow. Cue the geeky jokes – now I’m an adult in the Wizarding world, now I can be Matched, now I’m half the way towards coming of age in hobbit years. But seriously, I can’t believe it. It’s scary to think that now in less than a year I’ll be an adult. I could vote. I could get married (well, not in my state, but you know what I mean). I’ll be heading off to college shortly thereafter. It seems too soon.
I shall explain my feelings in the best way I know: through more geekiness. About a week ago, my brother and I watched the Tenth Doctor’s finale. We had very different reactions when Ten looked so sad and said, “I don’t want to go” right before he regenerated. Quentin thought he was being melodramatic. I, however, can relate to how the Doctor felt. I like what I have now. I don’t want to move on. I don’t want to grow up.
There. I’ve said it. That probably sounded immature, but it’s true. I know that there are all sorts of adventures that come with being an adult – having a first job and living on one’s own and falling in love – but those things are precisely what I worry about.
First of all, I don’t do well with change. I’m not sure if this is due to nature or nuture – am I like this just because, or is it related to what my life has been like? I’ve only moved once and it wasn’t very far away and I barely even remember it. I’ve only changed schools once. No one I love has died; I haven’t even had a major fight with a friend that led to us splitting up. I’m not saying that such things are fantastic, but my lack of experience with them makes me worry about stuff like going away to college and drifting apart from people because our lives are going in separate directions.
Secondly, the adult world seems so big. It’s filled with so many big decisions to make and I’m scared of failure. These two things do not combine well, as you may have guessed. I worry about messing up and making the wrong decision. What college should I attend? What should I major in? What sort of job do I really want (and is it more important that I make plenty of money or do something that I adore)? Whom do I want to marry? Where do I want to live? Why do I even have to think about these things?
It’s not that I don’t want the responsibility. Responsibility is actually kind of cool. I love it that my parents trust me to drive safely or do well in school. It’s a good feeling. My problem is that I don’t like big responsibilities. I worry about whether I can handle them. Whether I’ll disappoint myself or more importantly, others. Getting As in school is nothing compared to choosing a career. Getting As is a short-term thing; picking a career is about what I want to spend my life doing.
I guess what it all comes down to is being happy. I haven’t had to make many big decisions in my life thus far and I will in days to come. I worry most about being happy but sometimes that doesn’t seem like such a bad thing because happiness is important. Isn’t it the whole point of life?
Well, this post was certainly more angsty than I intended. To make up for that, I shall pull a Bilbo. I don’t know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve. I wish to make an announcement. I regret to announce that this is the end of the post. I am going. I am leaving now. Goodbye!”