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"The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." - Henry David Thoreau

There are so many milestones in life.

At five, you start school. Eleven marks junior high and fourteen is synonymous with high school. Shortly thereafter is the infamous sweet sixteen and two years after that, you reach adulthood. Sometime during those 18 years, you have your first crush, first kiss, first boyfriend or girlfriend and first car. You might even buy your first pack of cigarettes, and if you want to live on the edge, you actually smoke them.

For as long as I can remember I've assiduously avoided that edge. I went to school and graduated, and like any teenage girl had my fair share of crushes, but I never acted on impulse, never had a first boyfriend or a first kiss. To put all this in perspective, let me just say I've only ever bought one package of cigarettes and they were for my grandmother. True story.

Like most people resigned to living a life of quiet anonymity, there a came a point when I recognized my life for what it was: a farce. A sad imitation of life - a mockery of the human condition. And so, on the eve of my birthday, as many people are wont to do, I resolved to do better. I decided that I was tired of leading "a life of quiet desperation," to paraphrase one of the most profound authors of generations passed, but not forgotten. I wanted to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life."

Little did I know how literally Fate would take me...

\\Dedicated to TheRedDelilah for the original face of Forever 21 that she made me (which will be in a future sidepanel since it's no longer in use) and because she is, herself, an amazing woman! Also a big thanks to NeverBroken for the pic in this chapter's sidepanel.\\

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