That Thing That's Inevitable That Everyone Eventually Has To Do
Disclaimer: So Kassady did this. And then Erin did. So of course I had to even though I kind of did before. Heck, why don't we all? Let's make this a thing, people! (psst, Maddi, you're next!)
I think everyone's growing up is different.
I always say to my friend, "It's nice to be going through the same things as you at the same time." Really, we all are: us fifteen, sixteen, seventeen-year-olds. We have our bouts of irritability, anxiousness, longing, the firsts tastes of adulthood. We're experiencing a lot of the same, but no two of us are going to have the same experience.
It really comes down to the person and how they choose to deal with this newfangled growing up. I'm someone who's not too worried, not too excited (but excited--don't get me wrong), and not too blase. I wonder if part of the reason is because it hasn't quite hit home yet. I mean, I'll be eighteen in two years. Then again, I'll have more time than post people--I won't be starting college until I'm nineteen, because of when my birthday falls. Nineteen sounds eons older than eighteen.
The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. But I'm not worried about it. I can't say whether I'm in denial or just don't care; I honestly think it's the latter. I have so many choices, and it's freeing. I can be whatever. I can even choose to not go to college, if I don't want to.
Right now I'm at a time in my life when friends seem really, really important. They always were, but now more than ever. The ages we're all getting to--they're exciting. They mean all those grown-up things I dreamed about when I was twelve. Driving. Jobs. Maybe even boyfriends. This is the time when we begin to create miniature versions of our lives to come.
I do know one concrete thing about my future, and it's that I can't do the "normal" thing. I can't bring myself to go to college and get a job and then get married and have kids. It's not for me. I've known it for a while now, and I'm still figuring out what exactly this "not-normal" path will entail. Perhaps songwriting. Maybe singing. Or something entirely different, although it's hard to imagine.
All of it--it's all hard to imagine. I sometimes still feel twelve, having sleepovers with my brand new best friend and playing dress-up. Babysitting her younger siblings. Getting my OWN CAMERA for my thirteenth birthday. Writing stories and being excited when I got comments.
If you asked twelve-year-old me what she was going to be when she was older, she would have said: "I'm going to graduate early and go to a good college and get my veterinary degree and eventually open up my own practice." (Although I'm sure it was more along the lines of: "I'm going to graduate early and be a vet and open my own shop!")
If you asked fourteen-year-old me what she was going to be when she was older, she would have said: "I'm going to graduate early and maybe get a liberal arts degree and become a famous author."
If you asked fifteen-year-old me what she was going to be she would have said, "I don't know. I might start college classes early and I found the degree I want, at least: a bachelor's in technical and professional writing with an undercurrent in creative writing. I'm going to do it all online in a couple of years and then start my life."
Now. If you asked me what I'm going to be, I'd say I have no idea. I'd say there's no way I'm graduating early--being in college sounds awful right about now. I'd say my real love is singing and songwriting, but who knows what kind of chance I'd have in that? I'd say I'm not sure what college I'm going to, or if I'll go on campus or online or move away, although that sounds so strange.
I'd look at you like, "Well, it's interesting you asked. But I don't have a clue!"
Fifteen-year-old girl me look at you like, "Oh. Well, it's kind of boring but here you go."
Fourteen-year-old me would look at you like, "I'm going to achieve all my dreams and do exactly what I want and be successful!"
Twelve year old me would sound like she had it all figured out.
Funny how that works, isn't it? It just goes to show that you really do evolve as you grow. You become entirely different people, until finally something clicks and you just are.
I don't think I'm there yet, although being this new, wonderful age has given me a stronger zest for life. And this quote that I read recently in a book about John Lennon--it really resonated with me. I felt like the universe was speaking to me, in a way: "He certainly wasn't going to get a job--that's what you did in the 1950s, you left school and got a job. But there was no way he was going to get one, so what the hell was he going to do?"
Right now, that last sentence--it's me, but without the urgency. I have choices. I really am able to do anything. On my own time. So I think I'll just go ahead and spend this year looking forward to sleepovers and Christmas and driving and new clothes and seeing family instead of college and jobs and my overall future. It can wait a little longer.
And anyway, I can't be sure at this age. Seventeen-year-old me might have something completely different to say. Eighteen-year-old me could, too. Thirty-year-old me could.
You just never know. And that's the beauty of it. Of growing up.