“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” -E.E.Cummings
Every time my birthday rolls around I am struck with an endless amount of emotions ranging from elation to heartache and almost everything in between. When I turned 18 it was the horrors of being an adult that terrorized me the most. But those fears were eventually brushed off by the fact that I was still a highschooler, and well… highschoolers just aren’t adults in any sense of the word. Last year when the big two-zero crept up on me, I was utterly heartbroken to say goodbye to my teenage years. Being an irresponsible child has always been my persona (youngest sibling syndrome), so walking headfirst and blindfolded into the decade of life altering decision-making was daunting to say the least. These fears and inhibitions have stemmed from me not wanting to get old, not in the wrinkly gray hair sense, but in the “I have no clue where I am going or what I am doing with my life” sense. I have a strong feeling I’m not the only twenty-something sitting in this wishy-washy please-slow-down-life boat. Another year passes and another tally on my existence and I’m still just…I don’t know.
Here’s what I do know. I am twenty-one darn years old. I am happy. I am a year older and a year wiser. I am confident. I am growing up slowly but surely. I am working towards becoming a better person. I am learning more about the world everyday. I don’t have my life perfectly lined up ahead of me, and that’s okay.
This year is different, twenty-one isn’t some discouraging reminder of my uncertainties. It marks my eagerness to grow, learn, and experience. It marks the beginning of a me that I am excited to get to know.
I encourage everyone to drop a doubt and pick up a certainty every now and again. You might be surprised to find that growing up in this world isn’t so intimidating after all.
Side note: A very deeply felt thank you to my loving, hilarious, generous, beautiful friends that put my birthday together. Life is simply better with you humans by my side. Also another thank you to my family and friends that sent me warm wishes in the mail or over the phone or social media. You all really know how to make a girl feel special…or blackmailed. Either way, I appreciate it ツ