Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Twenty.

I think I was 3 here. Or maybe 5. I can never be sure. (;

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It is currently 1 am, but when I wake up tomorrow I am going to be 20. That sounds so strange to me, partially because when I was younger I thought 20 seemed so old and far away, but also because I feel the same as I've always felt.  


The best quote I've ever heard about birthdays is as follows…
"What they don't understand about birthdays, and what they never tell you, is that when you're eleven, you're also ten, and nine, and eight, and seven, and six, and five, and four, and three, and two, and one. And when you wake upon your eleventh birthday you expect to feel eleven, but you don't. You open your eyes and everything's just like yesterday, only it's today. And you don't feel eleven at all. You feel like you're still ten. And you are - underneath the year that makes you eleven.


Like some days you might say something stupid, and that's the part of you that's still ten. Or maybe some days you might need to sit on your mama's lap because you're scared, and that's the part of you that's five. And maybe one day when you're all grown up, maybe you will need to cry like if you're three, and that's okay. That's what I tell Mama when she's sad and needs to cry. Maybe she's feeling three. 
Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year into the next one. That's how being eleven years old is. 
You don't feel eleven. Not right away. It takes a few days, weeks even, sometimes even months before you say Eleven when they ask you. And you don't feel smart eleven, not until you're almost twelve. That's the way it is." 
- Eleven, Sandra Cisneros 

I could not more accurately describe how I feel right now. 

In the last year, the most important lesson that I've learned is this - Just because you get older, doesn't mean you get smarter. I used to think that by a certain age I'd have all the answers, just like a little kid thinks their parents know everything. I thought that at a certain point in my life I'd just know what to do about certain things, how to handle them, and the path I'm supposed to go would just become clear, but, surprise, that isn't the case. It's equally exciting and frightening to me that sometimes in life you just have to jump and hope for the best. 
In my 20th year I want to jump, whole heartedly and head first, and try to enjoy the "figuring out life" parts just as much as I enjoy the "easy, already figured out" parts. I want to think less and dream more. I want to fear less and do more. I want to judge less and love more.  
You attract the right things when you have a sense of who you are.” - Amy Poehler 

More so now, than ever, I feel like I'm starting to see who I am, in the sense that I know what I like and what I don't, I know what things are important to me and what things most definitely aren't (thank you high school for that), and I know what kind of person I want to be. I don't stand for people treating me (or others) in ways they shouldn't and I don't let people change me, unless it's for the better. 

This past year has brought me so many blessings and opportunities. I've strengthened old friendships, made stellar new ones, visited places I'd only ever dreamed about, and prepared to go to my favorite place on Earth. I feel so lucky that I've blogged so much of it and can always look back on it. 

Today, I am looking forward to a day of princess pampering, time spent with my family, and trying desperately to close my already overweight suitcase before I leave tomorrow!
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