I turn eighteen this weekend, and I honestly never envisioned myself at this age.
Not in a bleak way, not at all, but I simply just thought I’d be sixteen forever—barely passing chemistry, overthinking green text messages, still driving with my learners permit. Not knowing who I wanted to be.
I still don’t, but I’d like to think sixteen-year-old me, and the fourteen-year-old me who walked into Room 139 for the first time, is proud of where I am today.
Because the me who is days away from eighteen has a future, and she has a butterfly on her arm, and she doesn’t really like her brown hair but there’s far more important things to latch onto—like which shoes are going to make the move to New York and how she’ll survive without her dogs resting their heads on her shoulder every day.
While I’m still unsure exactly how I fit into this world, I know I want to keep writing, writing, writing, and I know I never want to stop dancing around my house in my too-big sweatshirts and mismatched socks. Wherever I end up, beyond Michigan, beyond Syracuse, I find comfort in the fact that my life will be colored with words and music and green and fruit and everything I love so much.
I scroll through my staff page quite often, and I just want to tell freshman-year me to walk with her head up, because there’s so much she missed during her lifetime of eyes on the floor.
I want to give sophomore-year me a hug and also a slap in the face for latching onto things that didn’t matter, even though they felt like the entire world then. And I want to push junior-year me into the deep end of the pool, for it’s when I’m floating that I feel most alive.
I am alive, and I’m here, and the sunlight is starting to hit the crystals on my windowsill just right, and I am starting to float. While my senior-year days are far from perfect, while my head is still submerged under the water most days, I think I like where I am right now.
I like running out the door in the green pants I wear every day and making my home wherever Lynlee’s car takes us that day. I like dancing around my house to whatever music my mom has playing that day. I like sleeping with my window open so I can hear the birds sing in the morning. I like eating dinner with my dog, Lulu, on my lap—she makes what shouldn’t be so hard a little easier.
I think I like where I’m at right now, just a few days away from the age I never had the courage to envision, just a few months away from the rest of my life.