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Archive for January 21st, 2013

When you were 16, what did you think your life would look like? Does it look like that? Is that a good thing?

Sixteen is the fruit of teenage years.  As a little child, I remember anticipating turning sixteen- it was the “cool” age.  I imagined myself hanging out with friends at our lockers, driving in roofless cars, and spending countless hours at the mall.  When I actually turned sixteen, I did none of this stuff.  Well- the locker part happened.  But life was life- I hung around with pretty much the same friends I had in elementary school, plus some new friends I made in middle and high school, ate the same food, and still despised waking up to go to school.  The only difference was the school work and the fact that I no longer played with Barbie and Bratz dolls (still couldn’t let Legos go though).

Even though my life pretty much remained the same, the hype around me was Sweet 16 parties.  It almost seemed like there was a competition- who’s party was the most glamorous?  I have to admit that I had a lot of fun when I was sixteen.  It was a different type of fun than I had imagined, but nonetheless one of my best teenage years.  Even though it was a good year, I also had negative experiences- I lost people, trust, relationships, and myself.

I was hesitant about my future.  I knew that I wanted a good education, nice people in my life, and to be quite frank, money.  But what I also craved was fun- the same kind of fun and glamour that I experienced at Sweet 16 parties.  I guess I could say that I expected my future to be filled with adventure, I wanted to be busy running from party to party, people to people, endpoint to endpoint.  At the same time, I knew that I would lose it all in an instant.  Everything that I experienced at sixteen seemed to only have a brief presence in my life, disappearing at will.  And so I knew what I wanted in the future would leave me instantly too… but somehow I was comforted by the fact that something else would jump in its place.  A future, a life with no permanence- that’s what I dreamed of at the fruit of my teenage years.

This year I will turn twenty.  Only a year away from legal age of “maturity” and only four years after the fruit of my teenage years, I believe I’ve already changed.  I am no longer the same person that I was when I was sixteen- I’ve changed a lot.  Experiences teach us all lessons- these past four years have taught me numerous lessons about a range of things.  Now, I want permanence.  Sweet talk and tasteless conversations don’t interest me.  In fact, I don’t have much patience or interest in many things these days.  I have goals and I seek to reach them.  Everything else that comes in my way are things that I just need to brush off of my path.

Bitterness and toughness.  I’m weathered.  One year can do a lot to a person.  Four can do even more.  Where’s the stability in living in the moment and knowing that something that excites you will leave at its will?  Many people these days like to think that they only live once and that they have to get all the fun out of their systems while they are young.  I used to see it that way, but I don’t agree with that thinking anymore.  Stability, permanence- that’s what I want.  Adventure is a nice touch to life and we all want it… a sprinkle of it… Surprises can also be interesting once in a blue moon.

We can never expect what kind of person we will turn out to be.  I wasn’t the sixteen year old I dreamed I would be.  I am not the adult (so far) that I thought I would turn out to be.  And this is the essence of life- never knowing what’s going to happen next.  Fate, as always, fascinates me.  We can dream, imagine, hope, wish, etc. etc. but it has all been individually determined already.  We just have to go along with everything, including some surprises on the way, to find out what happens next.  No previews.

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