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May 16th, 2014 - Ve Clauser

Tomorrow is my ninth birthday. I am a girl. I find myself in France with my family, and will spend my day exploring some small town and trying a new food. Maybe I will enjoy a Kinder Surprise Egg if I am lucky. My worries are limited, and when we return home, I will start a new grade and keep busy through the summer on homeschool work. 


Tomorrow is my tenth birthday. We’ll have a party at home, where extended family and friends will gather to celebrate me. I pick a cake from the catalog at Giant. It will not be super memorable.


Tomorrow is my eleventh birthday. This will be a big one, as we will spend it in England fulfilling something I have always wanted to do: taking a walk with hawks. It will be one of my favorite moments for a year, and I will hold it as my favorite birthday for years to come.


Tomorrow is my twelfth birthday. I will remember nothing about it.


Tomorrow is my thirteenth birthday. As I’ve just moved to New Jersey, I have no friends to celebrate with. But I am very close with my family and spending the day with them allows me to not be bothered by this. The year ahead will be filled with crisis. Mainly relating to puberty and feelings about my gender identity. 


Tomorrow is my fourteenth birthday. I will celebrate this day with a family bike ride to the zoo, which is about as “homeschool family” as it gets. It is fitting, as this is my last full year as a “homeschooler,” my only way of learning since preschool.


Tomorrow is my fifteenth birthday. I am used to just being at home with my family, so this “special” day is not too out of the ordinary. My best friend will come over though, and we watch some unmemorable film. At the end of this year, I will graduate high school and start community college. It will be the most stressful time in my life up until this point, but I will get over it after a few mental breakdowns. On the bright side, this year I will be put into a group chat with a kind boy (remember him, as he will be important later).


Tomorrow is my sixteenth birthday. I’ll have a party with newfound friends in New Jersey, the first and last time I will do this as a teenager. It turns out that I’m not much for parties. Remember that boy from earlier? He will be at the party as my boyfriend. Little do I know that by November, the friend group will fall apart, and I will move to Pennsylvania after that.


Tomorrow is my seventeenth birthday. The forgotten birthday, as I will later call it. This year, I want to test several friendships, so I decide to remind no one that my birthday is coming up to see who will remember. Not one of my friends does. Several wonderful relatives will reach out, and so will my boyfriend (even though he can’t be in the state on the day and completely forgets to get me a gift). It is a pretty rough way to kick off the next three hundred and sixty-five days. I will start studying film at Kutztown University this year though, and it will introduce me to more friends than I can deal with.  


Tomorrow is my eighteenth birthday. We can finally travel again. This year: Ireland. We spend the day taking a five-hour drive, and make it to the house just in time to hear my friend shout me out on his radio show on our university station. My boyfriend is along for this trip, enjoying his first time out of the USA. Later this year, I will earn my bachelor’s degree, freak out about getting into graduate school, and finally start an MFA program. 


Tomorrow is my nineteenth birthday. I am a young man. I’ve grown to hate cake; we’ll be having pie. I am packing my bags; we leave for family vacation in two days to visit extended family in the Netherlands and France. My boyfriend, still around from my fifteenth year, is planning to be along for the ride. I have a lot of worries; many about the world and some about myself. Being an adult means understanding a lot of problems too big for me, but it also means becoming my own person. Before I know it I will be moving out, starting to work, and creating a new family. The girl in France who was excited to try her first Kinder Surprise Egg is still somewhere in my spirit, disguised as a young man in France who is excited to try his first beer. 


 




Ve Clauser is an aspiring sports media creator from Berks County, PA. He is currently pursuing an MFA in Interdisciplinary Media from Lindenwood University. When he is not diving headfirst into a creative endeavor, he can be found playing video games, going on long walks, or watching a movie with his favorite cat, Wade. See more of Ve’s work on YouTube, and he encourages you to check out and support the non-profit group GLAAD

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