"Growing up is never easy. You hold onto things that were. You wonder what's to come. But, that night, I think we knew it was time to let go of what had been, and look ahead to what would be. Other days, new days, days to come. The thing is, we didn't have to hate each other for getting older. We just had to forgive ourselves for growing up." ~Kevin Arnold (The Wonder Years)~
I never thought that saying goodbye to my kid/teen years would be that hard. Truthfully, I guess I didn't think about that moment when it would happen...it was just sort of this far off idea that would come, "someday." Well, it looks like someday will be happening Friday. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, I will be turning 20 years old. I don't think it has completely sunk in yet, but the more I think about it...the more nervous I'm becoming. It's a way bigger deal than I ever imagined, and feels extremely weird. Not gonna lie.
Today, I decided to pull out some old journals from when I was about 13-14, out of curiosity to see how much I've grown and changed from the days of first becoming a teenager. I was so excited to be 13, because I thought things were really going to change. All the things I had seen played out on Full House, Boy Meets World, and all those other 90s shows were going to become relevant to my life. It was fun to see what I was thinking, what I was hoping for, who my favorite people were, and what my dreams were for the future.
First off, my writing was very mediocre; almost to the point that it makes me cringe, like I wasn't trying at all. When I look past that and hear the voice coming through, I hear a girl who knew what she wanted, but was just too afraid to speak up for fear of people criticizing or picking on her like in elementary school. I see a girl who was full of life and didn't know bitterness. She worried a lot, but she was a dreamer. She'd been hurt before, but she knew she could rise above. She just wanted to fit in and feel like she belonged somewhere, but was trying so hard to stand out leave her mark wherever she went. It's also funny to see what I thought was acting so "mature" at the time...LOL. She was quick to get her feelings hurt, because she cared too much. She wasn't trying to be anyone else, she just wanted people to like her for who she was.
I was terrified of speaking in front of people, and it's funny to see that I said, "Pretty soon I won't be afraid at all." That happened this year! I finally grew into my confidence, and it has never felt better. That is one of the things I'm most proud of, because it will play a big part in the career I want to have in the future. I had always wanted to get to know people or voice my opinions, but was too scared to let people see that. I'm not as guarded as I used to be. I wanted people to look past my shyness and see that there was more to me than how I acted at school.
I see the things that my friends and I thought were such a huge deal at the time, like petty drama where we'd argue over something stupid for no apparent reason (who liked who-the usual). We'd brainstorm about what high school would be like, where we'd go to college, and whether our kids would be friends when we were married and starting families of our own. We'd talk about our crazy daydreams of becoming singers and actors, and hanging out with the most elite celebs in Hollywood, which I think was like Jesse McCartney, Chad Michael Murray, and Hilary Duff for me at the time. I guess not much has changed ;) Haha. I talked about falling in love, and the things I hoped for in future relationships, and a few of my goals in life. So far, I'm still on the right track.
In the seven years of "teen-dom" I've experienced, I realized that I am still the same girl. I have the same heart, the same goals, same dreams, and most of my interests have come back around. I've matured, and know more of my beliefs and no one can change that. I've grown in my walk with God, and just realize He's going to take control of what happens next. My 13 year old self just had a hard time speaking up and let fear hold her back from really wonderful things. I would tell her to do them anyway, and worry about it later. Don't be so down on yourself all the time; we all make mistakes, and you just have to accept it and move on. And don't worry so much about what others think, just do your own thing and you'll be fine. Don't let others make you feel inferior; you are good enough and capable of living the life you want to.
It's weird to think that I'm going to officially be an "adult" now. I think now would probably be a good time to get my license and a job. I've been putting off these things or just talking about them for way too long now, and it's time to just jump. There's no looking back. I wouldn't do anything over again even if I could, because everything I did during those years has brought me to this point. I'm proud of who I am becoming, and the road God is leading me on at this very moment. I have no idea what's going to happen in the years to come; that's both exciting and terrifying.
Brooke Davis and Nathan Scott both said, "For now, I say goodbye to this chapter of my life...and look forward to what comes next." I can't think of a better way to put this! I'm excited about all the experiences and opportunities that will be coming my way, and I look forward to being ready this time, and not making excuses because I'm afraid. I'm trusting the Lord, and realizing that whatever happens, happens. It's all going to be okay.
That's all for now,