A lot of people talk about how you should remember to cherish your youth because growing up sucks, how being an adult is horrible. I think I quite like the idea. I don’t think it needs to be such a bad thing. Tracing back the years and finding versions of yourself long past, someone different. I was scared and anxious. Wanting to dig myself deeper into that hole I grew up in and hide from the world. Forever. But at the same time, I was angry. I wanted to be seen. I wanted to prove that I could be something other than belittled and looked over. I did mean something; I just knew it. I would prove them all wrong. I was driven by external forces. I carefully planned my words, my clothes, my laugh so that I would fit right in. I wanted people to look at me like I belonged.
But something changed. I’m different now. I don’t anxiously move the chair back and forth anymore. I stay calm with both eyes steady, listening to the people and caring about what I see. I say, let’s take a moment. Unplug. Maybe get a coffee. Check in and relax. See that you are a part of this world, not the entirety of it. You are part of something so much bigger than yourself, and yes, I know… cliché but it’s true. It’s about bettering the lives of others, making a positive difference.
I’m no longer driven by external forces, but rather by internal ones. I care most about how I see myself, how I feel, here and now. Happy, lonely, peaceful, calm, content, wise. Do I listen? Do I care? I want to be someone who cares genuinely about people, places, books, and songs. I want to care about my peace, my body, my days, and my work. School has been keeping me going, believe it or not. I’m learning, I’m growing, I’m creating. My books, my music, my journey on this endless road and I continue to find more love for it. The constant pull to reach a little deeper, create something a little lovelier. Something with a little more grace. I want to become a woman of integrity. Walking sure and with courage, no matter where I go. I want to look back and feel sure of the place I ended up. And I want to talk in a way that draws people in. I want to lower my voice and look people straight in the eyes and talk to their heart, like they are the only ones that matter to me in this second. Because I want to be a person that sees people, who genuinely cares, who makes people feel like they matter. Who offers a hand and says, “You are not alone.” I want to leave everyone I meet feeling a little better about themselves and excited about their own journeys. I want to make people feel special, like they matter… because they always do. Everyone has stories to tell, and I truly want to hear them all.
I want to be a woman who paved her future and who knows failure and heartache, but has kept going anyway because it made her wiser. It made her resilient and brave, but also softer and sweeter. I want to be the person you turn to for guidance and comfort. I want to create things that become a source of stability for people. I want to write things that make you feel vulnerable, that you read until the edges are frayed and the emotions take over. I want you to feel heard. I want to feel so sure of my own place in the universe that no one could ever doubt me. What I’m about, or what I’m here to do. I want to be a safe place in a sea of worries and uncertainty. I want to stand for peace and simplicity where only chaos seems to live.
So no, I don’t think growing up is such a bad thing after all. I can feel myself growing, quietly filling the space.
All images are courtesy of Her Campus Media