twenty

3/10/2019

Writing this, I am overcome by a million emotions and I wish I could say it’s because of something as simple as PMS. I’m sitting downstairs on the couch of the living room I have lived in the last 20-years and my parents just told me goodnight. When they said happy birthday for the final time, I started to cry and they responded with confusion. “There’s so much to come,” my dad reasons with me. “Do you think everything changes just because you aren’t 19 anymore, but 20?” If I was thinking logically, the answer would be no. I’m thinking with my heart, I want to scream, “YES!”

Normally, a birthday marks just another year that passes by in what feels like my never ending youth. I can think back to 10-years ago on my 10th birthday, which was also my ‘golden.’ Celebrated at The Waterpark of America, I invited all of my friends with GOLDEN tickets. Clever, right? Vividly, I can remember my childhood friend, Gracie, left bottomless after a surf board wipeout. What I can’t vividly remember is the time that passed between then and now, and how it possibly could’ve gone by so fast.

Every birthday I’ve had until now is one that I wished for sooner. Each year brought me closer to something I thought I didn’t have the luxury of having. They brought an excitement, knowing they were just one step closer to the destination I’d always planned on arriving to. I guess what I’m saying is, the idea of adulthood once seemed so far away, but now it’s not far at all. Actually, it feels as if it just knocked on my door. Or maybe it pounded?

My entire life up until now was spent waiting for a day like today where I’d be bigger and better than ever before. I might be bigger, but am I better? The birthday I once wished for now happens to be the birthday that I wish I could postpone. I wish it could be a year from now, or maybe two. Who knows? I sure as hell don’t.

The expectation that my life would be running smoothly by 20-years-old was a short-lived dream. In fact, I woke up from it this morning. I’ve wanted to fall back asleep ever since.

The truth is, it’s easier to still feel like a kid at 19 than it is to at 20. Things that used to not matter, do. Things that once mattered, don’t. It was easier to dream of the opportunities I’d once have, not actually face them.

Today, I’m 20. I’m not a kid and officially am no longer a teen. Today, I’m 20 and…. I DON’T KNOW WHAT I AM. It doesn’t feel right calling myself an adult, mostly because I’m terrified of becoming one. So what am I? A girl having a pre-adulthood crisis? A girl with no idea as to who the hell she is because all she ever thought about was who she would be?

Today, I’m the same 8-year-old girl crying outside the bus to church camp hiding inside of a 20-year-old woman’s body. I feel as terrified as I did on that day, and all I want is to do is cling to the safety of the things I already know.

Today, I am at the age I once dreamed of, but nothing is as it once seemed. I made it, but parts of me burn to rewind time and put the puzzle pieces back together. I made it, but the reality is that my pieces are scattered across the floor, nicked and wary from 20-years of hopeless expectation and experience. I long for the days that being where I am today was a wish, not a reality.

Today, a little part of me broke into pieces realizing that not all dreams come true, especially by the age of 20. Today, a part of me realized that the period of naive time where expectations exist is over. Today, reality was unmasked and my 20-year-old eyes were forced to see it.

Room 402

Tonight is my last sleepover with my roommate in Wilkins Hall, Room 402. We have spent the last 9-months eating together, sleeping across from each other, studying together, and so much more. I am trying so hard to not start crying writing this because I am so not ready to say goodbye to this place or the memories we made here.

You always hear roommate horror stories that terrify you in advance of leaving for college. It’s true, you cannot truly know someone by reading their Facebook bio and creeping on all of their Facebook photos. You really can’t know anyone until you meet them, and even then, you don’t know someone with complete certainty. Even people I thought I knew best ended up becoming someone entirely different.

This year has taught me one important thing: you don’t know anyone until you live beside them. I have only ever been used to living with my family, and my roommate is the first person I have lived with outside of them. This was the first time I ever lived without my family, and the first time I moved into a “new home” in 18-years.

Much like my own family, my roommate knows me best. I didn’t think that anyone could know me as closely as my own mother; I was wrong. I didn’t think that you could find your forever best friend in 9-months. Once again, I was wrong. This place, as much as I’ll miss it, means nothing without the person I shared it with.

My roommate was what made this place home. It wasn’t the decorations or the fact that we paid to live there; it was that SHE was always here. When she wasn’t, I didn’t want to be there. It’s sad that this summer I’m moving back “home” but missing the newest addition.


 

Although I will miss many parts of 402: the overwhelming heat, our couch, and the bathtub…

I will miss you more.

I’ll miss binge watching Blacklist, Bates Hotel, and Friends with you. I will miss our Monday and Tuesday designated Voice nights. I somehow will miss your spontaneous organization of the bathroom, and how you never tell me where you put my hairbrush. I will miss your sometimes obnoxious heavy breathing while you sleep. I’ll miss listening to some of your less than intelligent questions, and answers like Canada being a continent. I might even miss your stupid protein shakes and when you refuse to eat pizza with me. I’ll even miss the stupid elliptical you moved into our apartment and when you exercise as I binge eat dove chocolates.

I didn’t know that going into this that I’d find my partial twin, and future best friend. Thank you for responding to my Facebook chat, and believing in my fake bio claiming I was moderately clean. Thank you for being your emotional self and crying when hearing any sad story. Thank you for not being a complete hugger, and for sharing my same semi non-girly attitude. Thank you for telling me to not send that text.

Thank you for being sometimes too chill, and allowing me to mom you when you aren’t getting your shit together. Thank you for laughing at everything I say even though I’m not that funny. Thank you for bringing me home from the bars (most nights) and not killing me. Thank you for not getting mad at me after losing my key twice, and having to get the locks changed.. twice. Thank you for almost calling UMPD for me when you couldn’t find me. Thank you for throwing crackers back in my face when you’re under the influence and I try to feed you. Thank you for cleaning my dishes when I’m too lazy to get up and do it myself. Thank you for dealing with all of my relationships; literally all.

Thank you for basically being the best roommate a girl could ask for, and thank you for becoming a part of the place I call “home.” I know we are living together next year too, and probably the year after that, but I will always remember this year the most. You will always be my home away from home and I’m counting down the months until we share an actual home again.

Basically, I love you woman. Thank you for walking into my life; I promise, I’m never letting you walk out.

Here’s to room 402 and the best friendship its made. Room 608, here we come.

 

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a detour

I know I said that this was the beginning of finding myself and all, but really I feel like college has actually taken me in the opposite direction. It isn’t its fault or anything, it’s honestly my own. I think that once you come here as a freshman it’s hard to grasp right from wrong and how to say no in general. A time of such instability and change has created even more anxiousness and misunderstanding than when I was in high school. Who would’ve known?

I thought when I left that I could find a fresh start and potentially become someone else. I realize now that I am the only one blocking my transition. It’s hard not knowing anyone and honestly not even knowing yourself. You can feel yourself drift, but for some reason there’s always something pulling you back to where you used to be. The comparison happens to be even worse, and the self deprecation only increases within your first weeks of rushing. It’s crazy how confident you can feel with yourself, and without even knowing it, completely forget all of the great things you loved. It’s even harder not being surrounded by the people who kept tabs on you for 4-years and constantly reminded you of your goodness.

College is basically like remaking yourself, but somehow I managed to remake me into a worse version. A lot of the things I loved in high school and never felt the need to take part in feel almost essential now in order to fit in. I used to not even care about fitting in, but at least in high school people noticed. It feels like you could disappear amongst a crowd here without a soul knowing, maybe besides my roommate. A lot of the qualities I had feel as if they’re irrelevant now; it seems like everyone’s wanting something different.

This probably sounds like a total bummer post and is long overdue to be honest, but I promise it’s gonna get better. That is the one thing I could never guarantee myself in high school.  It just feels like sometimes I’ve lost sight of what I came here for in the first place,  but maybe I’m just looking at it the wrong way.

It’s crazy how many things change throughout your first 6-months of college, and even crazier to see how much independence you develop. I think I was well prepared for this and I haven’t had that hard of a time adjusting. I will say that sometimes (well, oftentimes) I desire the comfort of my own bed and my picture scattered wall. I spent a lot of time in my room throughout high school, the good times and bad. Although I call this place home now, it doesn’t really feel like mine. It’s hard to sit here and think the way I used to, but I guess thats just growing up. It’s also important for me to remember that sometimes letting go of old memories is the only way to move forward. I keep waiting to relive the past and by now,  I should know better than this.

If I could go back and tell myself anything at the beginning of my senior year I’d say: “choose yourself.” I think that’s something I always thought I was good at, but honestly was horrible at. The slightly older I get, the more I realize how much I wish I would’ve prioritized my growth over others. I feel like if I would’ve loved myself a little bit more, I would be in a way better spot than I am at this moment. It’s too easy to repeat old habits and comparison games when you lose comfort in who you are. It’s hard to let other people love you when you find every reason to not love yourself. Cliché, but somehow this always manages to be my worst living nightmare.

As much as I understand this fault, I have repeatedly chosen to not do anything about it. It’s sad to say it isn’t oblivion anymore, it’s just fear. It’s also sad that I used to not be this person, and I’m not totally sure when I lost her. I don’t think it was ever relying on others that initiated my problem, I think it was just avoiding it as a whole. I wish I could understand how to fill my empty voids. Somehow I just end up using control methods as a way to fill them, whether it be my weight or perfecting some other element of my appearance, I always seek gratification in the unattainable. One pound feels great, how about 6 more? That’s my problem: it’s never enough.

Basically, I’m hoping that by understanding this I can stop fulfilling other people, and choose myself for once. I keep doing things and acting in the same patterns knowing they’re destructive, but somehow deciding to not stop them. It’s honestly like sometimes I enjoy making myself fall down. Pretty screwed up. I don’t know where I got it from, but I do know I need to change it.

Maybe small steps aren’t my answer anymore, and drastic measures are necessary in order to make a change. It’s time for me to choose me.

Okay, sorry for the babble.

Sincerely,

Me.