Reflecting on 20 Years

On April 10th, I will celebrate 20 years of being alive. This is as exciting as it is terrifying. Being 20 means I am no longer a teenager. I legally became an adult when I turned 18, but now that I am in my 20s it seems much more official. I have many more responsibilities now than I had 2 years ago and there is a lot more expected of me. It feels like my childhood is now over and it’s time to start growing up. To help myself process the fate of time, I am going to reflect back on the past 20 years and how I got to this point.

Me and my sisters at 5 years old

When I was a kid I was shy, but that didn’t stop me from having a dynamic personality. I didn’t care what other people thought of me. I was entirely myself always. I was the weird kid on the bus who would sing the song stuck in my head out loud even though I knew everyone could hear me. Even when I was bullied for reading on the bus or at recess in elementary school, I still talked excitedly about whatever book I was reading to anyone who was willing to listen.

 

Me at 12 years old

There was a definitive shift in middle school, when most kids were preoccupied with being cool. I didn’t care about that, but I became increasingly aware that I was clearly someone who was different. I began to build carefully constructed walls around me that just grew tighter over the years. I was trying to prevent myself from getting hurt but I just hurt myself in the process by shutting myself off from other people and sinking deeper into introversion. Even today I am still working on breaking down those walls.

The past 5 years of my life were definitely the hardest. My anxiety increased. I suffered from mental health issues that became much worse, losing my desire to live and have a future. There was a period of time where I didn’t think I would ever even make it to 20. That’s why I’m so happy to be turning 20 next week. It means that I made it through. It shows how strong I am to be able to overcome all the bad times. I made it to 20 years of life and I am so excited to be alive for many, many more.

 

Me now

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