Lost in Manhattan: The Year I Was 22

, by Zoë Gulliksen

There is a lot of stigma about 22 year old females in pop culture. Charlotte in “Sex and the City” yelled at her business successor: “You’re 22, what do you know about life!” Norah Jones sings the tune “She's 22” about the tramp who stole her boyfriend. In ‘You’ve Got Mail” Meg Ryan hashes out against “those stupid 22-year-old girls with no last name!”  Females in their 22nd year are apparently notorious for stealing boyfriends & husbands, being perky, and ruining lives. I can promise you I was none of those things in the last year.

 However, I can tell you what I did do the year I was 22. I started off in my last semester at college where I was taking 21 credits (seven classes) in order to graduate on time. A professor told me that I wasn’t competent enough pass all seven classes on time and I, through a burst of tears, yelled back at him that I most certainly could. And I did.

It was the year I quit job after job because I refused to be treated with less than common fucking courtesy. (Just because a boss buys you beer to drink in the office or have ping pong competitions does not necessarily mean its good place to work). It was the year I had panic attacks at my bookstore job, reducing me to crying in the bathroom before every shift. It was the year I worked at The New York Public Library on 5th ave.

It was the year I moved not only to New York City in my own studio apartment, but a studio on the Upper West Side (my dream home for as long as I can remember.) It was the year I met Karen Allen (Marion in 'Indiana Jones')- twice. The year I met Sean Astin, Dominic Monaghan , and Peter Jackson  of 'Lord of the Rings'. The year I met Gerard Butler, Ryan Gosling, Damien Echols, Tom Wolfe, Robert Redford, and others. The year I sat with Frank Oz who gave me a huge bear hug after our interview. The year Alan Menken sang me Disney songs that never made final cut. The year I got really drunk with some 'Games of Thrones' cast members. The year I was in the same room as Robert Downey Jr and he winked at me.

It was the year I got not one, but two tattoos on the same day: a matching LOTR one with my best friend and another of a paper airplane from “Paperman”.  It was the year I adopted a little black cat from a garbage can the weekend before a hurricane. And then adopted a huge black cat from Craigslist that likes to eat sticks of butter and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. The year I got a job where I wound up being zero degrees away from Keven Bacon.

This was also the year I dressed up as femme Captain America and a drunk sorority girl took a picture with me then tagged me as Super Woman on Facebook. The year I got a papercut on my eye the morning after Thanksgiving and had to go to the emergency room. The year I got quad skates and resolved to be a Derby Girl. (That didn't happen.) The year I resolved to shake hands with Nick Fury. (I did. Cool dude, that Samuel L. Jackson) The year Liam Neeson said to me "I'm not a human being, I'm a badass."

When I was 22 I learned to not work in a place you hate going to. That barely making rent makes me a lot happier compared to having a big paycheck and being stuck with people I can’t stand. I learned that it’s okay to cut people out of your life that you don’t trust, or actually like. The year I found the best friends a girl could ask for. The year I stared getting requests from companies asking to work with me, instead of the other way around. 

Although, I'm glad I'm not 22 anymore, if only for the sole reason that Taylor Swift apparently has some song out about being 22 and that makes me want to vomit. Also, being 23 has a lot in store for me. If last year was a transitional year, this upcoming one will be the big game changer. I hearby resolve, on April 25th 2013, that by the time I turn 24 I will have two major life goals done. I won't tell you about them now-you'll just have to stick around to see what they are =)

I do have a small bit of advice for other 22 year olds out there: 1.) women will hate you because you're younger than they are. 2.) men that are mean to you are just pissed off that you won't fuck them.

and-> 3.) The only person who is a qualified expert on being you, is you.

As always, thanks for being around guys.


  1. Just lovely, Zoë. I wish you the best for your 23rd year. <3

  2. Happy Birthday, Zoë! I hope this year is an amazing year for you! :-)

  3. Happy Birthday! I hope your success continues through 23 :)