Today is my last day as a teenager. Tomorrow is my twentieth birthday.
I’ve been a teenager for seven years, and if you divide that out, that’s approximately 40% of my life so far. Over half of my memories are from my teenage years since I have horrible memory and don’t remember back past maybe five-years-old.
So much has happened when I was a teenager. I had my first boyfriend when I was 13. (It was a dismal failure, but that’s beside the point.) When I was 14, I went on a six week camping trip with my family, my biggest adventure ever besides college. When I was 15, I went on a week-long vacation without my family, a pretty massive accomplishment if you grew up in a family as close as mine. I also got my very first job that summer. I worked my first summer at camp when I was 16. I started college when I was 17. (I was the youngest in all of my classes.) I got my first pocket knife when I was 18. (It was green and really cool.) And I had my first kiss when I was 19.
On top of that there were so many great memories of weekend retreats with my youth group, of vacations with my family, and of crazy shenanigans with my friends. I learned to drive and (finally) got my licence. I’ve seen friends fall in love and get married.
I’ve learned what it means to be a hard worker and to be passionate about writing. I’ve learned what it means to be a good friend. I’ve made new friends and have grown distant from old ones. I’ve grown to love my family like no one could believe. I’ve learned to spend time with the people who truly care about me and let those who don’t fade into the background but am always open for a rekindled friendship.
And now those seven years are coming to a close.
Don’t get me wrong, I am super stoked to finally be a twenty-something. I’ve identified with the age group for quite a while now. But actually being one is hitting me with a purse-load of bricks. (Plus, I tend to get melodramatic and emotional as I approach milestones.)
Here’s a nod to the past two decades. Here’s a shout to the next two.