Vincent Desmond
Sep 26, 2018 · 4 min read

Nineteen Years A Boy

A few things have been consistent for most of my life: my social awkwardness, my love for Beyoncé and my horrid luck with birthdays. I find it fascinating how I absolutely love birthdays and go out of my way to ensure people around me have the best birthdays but someway somehow mine always ends up being shit. It doesn’t help that almost every birthday of mine involves me comparing my journey with other people and each time falling short. However this year, on my 19th birthday, it feels like things may be different. There isn’t a cake and neither is their a party and sadly I’m not going to finally watch a Broadway play, however this year I feel more in touch with my self. At least enough to not let these things (or the lack of these things) overwhelm my gratitude for another year in my journey as a person.


This past year has involved a lot of reflection and realization but most importantly unlearning and learning. The 'unlearning' part has to be the part that left me feeling things I didn’t plan or expect to feel. Unlearning things you’ve held on to for most of your life, having these pillars which have been consistent for most of your life shaken and/or removed is something I didn’t expect. I felt, for lack of a better word, loose. Free is giving it too positive a spin, I felt loose. Like the ground beneath my feet was moving, like the very things holding me together were giving way. Unlearning religion, belief systems and things you considered truths for so long had me questioning everything, had me wondering and realizing things I didn’t plan to and it didn’t feel like freedom. Even though it was. I was learning to possess me, to reject everything harmful and foreign. To ensure that what possessed the entirety of my self, my vessel and my spirit was beneficial and needed. I needed to free myself from every belief that was holding back and down. I needed my beliefs to own me.


While I was setting myself free (TO FREEDOM! *in Nicki Minaj’s voice*), I was trying new things with new people, learning new things. While doing this, I fell in love somehow. I am saying this probably for the first time to even myself. I look back at that love and I wonder if maybe why I fucked up the way I did was because of how fast it happened or how it had happened. Of course, like many things I have touched I messed it up but every now and then I ask myself 'would you give up that experience, if it would save you the hurt?' The answer is always no. This past year has given me many amazing moments, few can compete with the moments that came from that love and none can win. It was, for lack of a more creative and less overused word, magical. In those moments, the sun set and rose and I didn’t care. Hours passed in seconds. I felt at peace. My energy, my self and my everything was at peace. It was so peaceful I didn’t want to speak, scared to disrupt it. So peaceful I felt like a hedonist for indulging and coveting. I found peace and I found light in the eyes and arms of a boy. It was a dream. When said dream shattered, it seems natural to wish it didn’t happen, right? To wish your thirst wasn’t triggered by a mirage? Maybe for some, however while I wish it lasted forever. I am grateful for the time it lasted and I am grateful I got to experience it.

Why does it feel like this sums up my year? Is it enough? Should there be more? Financially I have grown and gotten better, I’ve gotten opportunities I didn’t expect and I have grown but this is it. When it comes to the experience of my past year, this is what it boils down to. Love and freedom. Freedom and love. Should there be more?

I say happy birthday to myself because I am proud of me, proud of who I am and proud of my experience. I also look forward to experiencing more, the ups and the downs, the peace and the turbulence, the love and the heartbreak, to learn and to unlearn. I wish to myself the full human experience and I wish to enjoy and appreciate it all.

So cheers, this bitch is 19!

I rant on twitter @vincentdesmond_

Writer // Storyteller

More From Medium

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade