good morning, cyberspace!
I’m turning 20 in 2 days, folks.
That is . . . very bizarre for me to type. Up until this point, my entire life has been split in two: childhood and teenagerdom. “20” was the proverbial age I would someday be–the age when I would finally be doing all of the adventurous, outlandish, sometimes preposterous things that I always dreamed of doing in my younger years.
“When I’m 20 I’ll know everything.”
“When I’m 20 I’ll travel the world.”
“When I’m 20 I’ll be a published author.”
(that last one, I’ll admit, kind of stings.)
Well, now I’m turning 20, and I still feel like I know nothing. I feel like I’ve done nothing. I feel like I’ve seen nothing. There’s this great, big, impossibly wondrous world right at my fingertips, and I feel like I’ve only poked my head into one tiny crevice of it.
But the truth is, after living for almost twenty years, I’ve learned a lot. I’ve learned how to write books. I’ve learned how to play the ukulele. I’ve learned math and science and discovered that no matter how hard I try, I will never be good at geography. I’ve learned that fondness is fickle, but love lasts forever. I’ve learned and forgotten how to speak French. I’ve made friends. I’ve lost friends. I’ve found friends again. When I stop to think about it, I really have seen and done and experienced so much, and all of that has been within the span of 19 years and 363 days.
I used to think my life was small, that for whatever reason, it wasn’t as big and beautiful and magical as everyone else’s. I used to think there was something missing, and I spent days upon days wondering what was wrong with me–why I wasn’t on the same track as everyone else my age. Why I felt so different.
It’s taken me almost twenty years, but I’ve finally realized that while we all may be running the exact same race in the end, each and every one of our tracks is different. Some are made of concrete and skyscrapers, and others of moss and dirt. Some are paved with obstacles and fiery hoops, while others appear to be smooth sailing (even though we all know they’re most definitely not). Some have trees and some have fireflies and some are swamped in moonlight. Some of us get head starts, and others are late bloomers. Some of us travel the world and see the stars from every angle, and some of us walk barefoot on our own land, planting our favorite flowers and drinking in the sunlight before the it falls in the exact same patterns all around us as we fall asleep each night.
19–nearly 20–years have passed, and I still don’t really know who I am yet. Part of me wants to travel the world (and part of me believes that I will one day, at least to an extent), and part of me wants to stay home with my books and my bird and let the world slip away outside my window unnoticed. Part of me wants to go out in search of adventure and magic, and part of me knows that I can create those things right here where I am already.
I have two days until I turn 20–practically one, really, seeing as though I’m writing this in the evening–and I most definitely do not have everything figured out. I haven’t traveled the world (though I have been to North Carolina), and I obviously have not published a book. In two days the death of my dream to be a published teenage author will arrive, and I will wake up and smile and eat a slice of cake in its remembrance. Because right now, it doesn’t matter that I’m not published. It doesn’t matter that I haven’t traveled the world yet. It doesn’t matter that there are a million things on my bucket list that I haven’t yet managed to check off. What matters is that every day I get up and take one little step closer towards the me I want to be tomorrow.
19 years and 363 days have brought me to this exact moment. And as I sit here in this chair, staring out the sun-stained window and finally acknowledging the beautiful, slightly messy, absolutely perfect life I’ve been blessed with, I can’t help but realize how so very lucky I am, after all.
TALK TO ME, PEASANTS!
What kinds of things have you learned in all the many years you’ve been alive? Do you want to travel the world someday (are you ALREADY traveling the world?) or would you rather stay home and read books and eat cake and listen to the sound of rain pattering down your windows? IS YOUR BIRTHDAY COMING SOON??? (or has it already passed like mine? we can commiserate together and eat stale cake. it’ll be great.) And most importantly. . .
HAVE YOU NOTICED I’VE BEEN COMPLETELY AWOL THE PAST FEW WEEKS?????
AHA. This is because I just recently got my first ever job and am now trying to find my groove. But it’s fine. Things are finally beginning to fall into place again, so I guess this post is me reentering the blogosphere. I hope y’all didn’t miss me too awful much. (and also–if everything goes according to plan–I’ve got a fun announcement coming soon, so keep your peepers peeled for that!)
As always, let’s talk about ALL OF THE THINGS!!! down in the comments below! And until next time. . .