It has only hit me today that every step I've made in my entire life is starting to accumulate, to reach the three goals I set for myself right off the back as a child. To graduate from high school, to go to college, and to travel to Europe. Every click of the pen, tap of the toe, every girl scout cookie sold, every afternoon spent doing homework, every last minute project has all led me to right now, right here. It’s almost surreal when I look back and notice everything that has happened since I set those three goals.
My parents divorced. I moved. My mother remarried. I moved. I made real friends. I moved. I made some more. I joined Girl Scouts. I graduated Junior High. I got a boyfriend. I slid by freshman year. I took honors classes. I made more friends. I lost a few. I decided High School wasn’t my thing. I registered for the CHSPE. I started selling Avon.
All throughout these events, I suffered severe depression and an eating disorder. I overcame obstacles that I never would have dreamed of ever being there. I stood at the edge and chose to live. I guess it’s true what they say that “Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.
This morning I woke up with this realization, that all my goals were suddenly coming true and that this would be the end of this part of my life. My teen years. I felt sullen all day, unable to think of what I would do next, what would come after. I started to think of the proudest moments of my life;
Winning a choir award in fifth grade, with a voice I never knew I had.
Being chosen read around after read around with my word. MY VERY OWN WORDS!
Winning the boy, the one every other girl wanted, the only person who I let share my pain, the person who let me break, the person who accepted me, the person who convinced me I was pretty, who slowly but surely helped me overcome my problems, the person who was there.
Only hours later while watching TV on the couch a new realization came to me. This is the end, but also the beginning to a whole new procession of fresh experiences. This is the start of something bigger than anything yet. I heard a speech in grey anatomy once, it struck a note with me and I’ve said it allowed quite a few time. However until today I was never quite able to take it to heart.
è “Today is the day my life begins. Today I become a citizen of the world. Today I become a grownup. Today, I become accountable to someone other than myself and my parents. Accountable for more than my grades. Today I become accountable to the world. To the future. To all the possibilities that life has to offer. Starting today, my job is to show up wide eyed and willing and ready. For what, I don’t know. For anything. For everything. To take on life. To take on love. To take on the responsibility and possibility. Today, my friends our lives begin. And I, for one, can’t wait.”
Today I sit at my computer and write this, free of sadness and filled with a new kind of confidence. I do not believe that even at the age of 75 or even 100 that I will ever be ‘all grown up’ because the truth is no matter how old we get and how many goals we reach their will always be new things to experience and new goals to achieve. Today I am 16 years young. Today I am me.