I’m in my final year of being a teenager. I’m excited. I’m panicking. I’m looking forward to my birthday cake, but not to the idea that one day, I will no longer be able to eat lots of cake with zero waistline-related consequences.
I never realised I would make it this far. That sound ridiculous, right? Especially since I essentially have my life planned out till age 30 and beyond. Why would it not occur to me that over time, I would get closer and closer to my dreams?
I guess because it just seemed so far away. By age 20 I’d have done such and such, and by 21, I’d have done this and that. Now all of a sudden, age 20 is just 12 months away. Where is my 3 carat fancy yellow diamond, emerald cut, 3-stone set into a titanium band!?
A few days ago, I was freaking the heck out. Now? I feel significantly more chilled out. Really, what am I going to do to slow the hands of time other than embrace what I’ve got to work with right now? I’ve got scars galore from bold attempts at life, and I expect to accrue many more over the years. Bring. It. On.
Adulthood seems like a long time away when you’re 12 and all you can do is dream. Then one day, you look in the mirror. You’re about to turn 19, you can buy booze, sign your own loan agreements and you actually have the ability to do more than dream. Oof! That thud you just heard was the popping of my safety bubble. (And it hurt man, let me tell you!)
I don’t think I’ll ever do that thing where you live your life in preparation for your own death (too much fear-based motivation for my liking!) but awareness/acceptance of my own mortality is humbling to the point of kicking my butt and making me move. I’m a grown up, bitches!
One day, I will cease to have birthdays, and there is nothing I can do about it. So, I’ve decided to release that fear to the universe. I’m letting it go. Even Gandhi died eventually, and my own death won’t be a failure either. As I look back on the childhood that is effectively over, there are 43 things I hope I will never stop doing, no matter what the date on the calendar says.
I Will Forever…
- Believe in magic.
- Eat chocolate cake for breakfast every once in a while.
- Play in swing sets and build sandcastles with my friends.
- Get flattered by love notes and thrilled to write them back.
- Believe in myself, with no need for external justifications as to why.
- Enjoy the presence of animals, pick flowers and spend lots of time outdoors.
- Appreciate small presents.
- Fill colouring books with purple zebras and suns that wear sunglasses, i.e. artistic approximations of reality.
- Love getting my picture taken.
- Wear cute bathing suits with neither guilt nor shame.
- Smile equally big for pictures and people.
- Be. In the moment.
- Care more about my feelings and the friends I already have than the opinions of the mean kids who don’t want to play anyway.
- Finger paint and draw with crayons and have entire afternoons dedicated to crafts.
- Be unafraid of making a mess.
- Have crushes.
- Get excited by kisses.
- Colour outside the lines, literally and figuratively.
- Wear lots of different bright colours all at once.
- Cry freely.
- Glue sparkles onto everything. (Everything!)
- Be unafraid of making new friends.
- Wave at people while I walk down the street.
- Act with zero guilt.
- Get really, really excited for shiny things.
- Give everyone a fair turn.
- Invite the new kid to come play with everyone else.
- Have nap time when I get cranky.
- Enjoy the clicky sound that Mary Janes make when I walk.
- Make art entirely detached from the outcome.
- Throw caution to the wind and just jump.
- Eat dessert first.
- Wake up on Saturday morning just to watch cartoons.
- Speak up when someone makes fun of someone else, no matter who it is. Bullying will never, ever be OK.
- Eat peanut butter straight from the jar, and add that extra spoon of sugar.
- Write with flourish.
- Change my handwriting every so often just to keep life fresh.
- Read books with small words and big ideas.
- Skip straight to the comics section.
- Take small bites and eat slowly.
- Eat only when I’m hungry and stop when I’m full.
- Sprinkle glitter on my head while I imagine being my own fairy godmother. (Did you ever do that?)
One day, I was celebrating my 16th birthday and now all of a sudden, I’m going to networking groups, preparing to finish my first university degree a full year early(!), and whipping together lists of my marketable skills. It’s all happened so fast and all I can do is hope magic keeps happening, and then doing my part to ensure my own happiness.
Mug of coffee in one hand.
Pink sparkly wand in the other.
Namaste and aloha,