Her foundation and concealer don’t match her skin tone anymore. They’re too dark now that she has stopped tanning, but she’s not in a rush to replace them. She doesn’t feel the need to have her makeup and appearance absolutely flawless at this point in her life. Good enough feels perfectly good enough. She also cut her nails super short. No more long, glittery nails attracting compliments left and right. No, just chipped, beige nails cut right down to the nubs. She needs her hands to be functional and do what she needs them to do to the best of their abilities. She needs them to be able to play instruments, make clothes, and workout like a ninja. She also dyed her hair black, kind of impulsively but what else is new. She misses the blue hair dearly, along with the statement it made for her when she walked into a room or met someone new. It was loud, fun, and bold so that she didn’t have to be all of those things right away for people to know what she’s like once you got to know her. Although the black is objectively not as great as the blue, it feels right. It feels exactly what suits her best at this point of her life. She’s in a little cocoon working on herself, not showing herself off to the world yet, but being patient and diligent, and knowing that one day she will. She’s focused on herself for the foreseeable future. Her skills, knowledge, finances, physique, and mental health. That is the main focus right now. She daydreams often and vividly. Imagining herself doing great things is exciting and hopeful, and safe. She gets all the glory and happiness of being a famous pop star, or world-renowned fashion designer, or badass business woman, without the excruciatingly painful struggles and curveballs life gifts every one of us along the way. Actually getting good at any of these things she dreams of requires actually doing things. Not just once, but every single day. A new instrument, skill, language, whatever, requires practice. So, she does it, but then once she’s done, she knows she’s not actually done because the next day she has to do it again, and the next day, and the next day, for how long? 21,900 days. She does the math as she lays on her bed struggling to fall asleep and figures that if she lives until she’s 80, then she has about 21,900 days left until death. This feels like a nauseatingly long amount of time, and simultaneously not as much time as she thought. When the number is counting backwards, a rush of anxiety sets in. Time is running out and she’s wasting seconds laying here in bed. But when each number is a day going forward, 1…2…3…4…it feels like way too long to keep living. It’s like she committed to running a marathon, although it was more like she was forced to run it since she never asked to be born. And her 20thbirthday is the 6-mile mark. 6 miles is a really long time to be running and she’s already past her limit, but she’s not even close to halfway done. The juxtaposition of too much time and not enough time, as well as just time as a concept in general, makes her feel irritable and sick. She lays there in her cocoon as the hours of night roll by, shifting in and out of visualizations and contemplations until she’s finally asleep. Then the alarm goes off. Only 21,899 days to go.