Yesterday as I was plodding through the academic quad in my rain boots*, I started planning what I thought would be a great tenth blog post. It was going to be memorable. I had lofty goals for this landmark number--I felt like it would be imbued with a certain magic, it was, after all, number ten.

You can imagine, then, how crushing the blow was when I realized I had already posted ten times. This post is number eleven.

My dejection was absolute, but I have overcome this particular mental block. Partially through the encouraging words of my dear Uncle Ollie, who deigns to speak to me even though I have not yet seen Razor's Edge**, and partially through my reluctant recognition of how absurd my obsession with landmarks and personifying inanimate objects is.

When I was a child I feel like my parents personified a lot of things, and then I started personifying everything, which was very stressful. Food, furniture, nature, our toys, everything had feelings. We had to tiptoe around on eggshells....I spent a lot of time worrying about hurting my stuffed animal's feelings. I admit that I apologized profusely to my favorite dog Emmy and my bee when I left for college and didn't bring them with me. (I have Frederico here instead...it's betrayal on top of everything else. Tragic.) Once my Grandma Coleman told me when we had pasta for dinner that the noodles left on the plate were sad they weren't with their friends in my tummy. To this day I cannot leave a plate unfinished. What kind of cruel, heartless monster would I have to be to leave a noodle lonely?

And somehow this sense of identity and emotion carried into numbers. Seven is an awful, awful number; after all, 7 ate nine. 6 always seemed like a slacker, the stoner kid in high school. 10 was accomplished, 10 had a lot going for him. 12 is pompous. 2 is really pushy. 3 is kind of shy, but he and 1 sometimes hang out with 5. 13 is a wild-child, so is 17. 11 is utterly nondescript, 16 just wants to have a good time. 20 expects a lot out of you. 21....you get the idea.

This might explain some of my issues with math--a lot of baggage is carried into the subject. I have a good friend who can attest to this, we met in 7th grade math class and he still tells people how I would say "ok we carry him, and he goes down here, and you know he's going to hate being next to this guy..."

I just wanted my tenth blog post to live up to the weight ten has always held for me. It's silly, but these associations won't stop tugging at my conscience. And now we come to the root of the Lauren Turns 20 Program. 20 is a big deal number. Not only is it two decades of my life, the big 2-0 is counting on me to pull through as a glittering picture of success and responsibility. As someone who has it all together.

So 20 is a benchmark. And benchmark numbers and dates have long been a mechanism through which I sculpt the direction of my life. I tend to see life in black and white, as a series of trade-offs. If you aren't one way, you're the other. You do, or you don't. You're in, or you're out. You like, or you dislike. You will, or you won't. Compromising, clearly, is not my strong suit. But if I see my behavior one way, and I see how it has to change, well things become simple. I'll just do it.

Easier said then done, but hey. I'd hate to be on the wrong side of my will-power. But I guess we'll have to wait and see what life's like on the other side of April 15th. Who knows what number post that will be? I might plan it out. There's nothing I hate like not knowing...

xoxo, Lauren

*It's been raining lately in my fair city. It's more of a drizzle really, but the way people deck out you'd think everyone was made of sugar. Or had green skin and a flying monkey. Either way, it's a little ridiculous. I folded and bought boots because it floods so easily, but I wasn't carrying an umbrella. There was a girl who was dragging what looked like a pup-tent. It was highly amusing.

**I'm working on it. I've been thinking I might just read the book. Unless this is one of those rare cases where the movie is better than the book. I doubt it, but then again, Bill Murray was pretty great in Ghostbuster's...