Reflection post, maybe? (edit: definitely a long reflection post. WARNING: lots of rambling)
It’s 12:10am, and I’m officially eighteen. I don’t know, it hit me a little hard.
I just took a long, hot shower and washed my hair. The whole time, I was hoping I wouldn’t take too long, take a shower past midnight and spend the first few minutes of my birthday with pruney af fingers. Spoiler alert: I didn’t (thank god). Before that, I was watching a few episodes of Romance Is a Bonus Book – which is awesome because I got to stare at Eun-ho (Lee Jong-Suk) for a few hours – after my mom said goodnight and went to sleep.
I was scared (I am scared) of turning eighteen. I guess it’s just when you’re legally by yourself, even though I know I’m not. By myself, I mean. And I also know everyone feels like this, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling so unprepared. I’ve been living pretty much by myself and definitely without my parents for three years now. I shouldn’t feel scared. Right? Right??
And yet it still feels like a huge weight has been put on my shoulders. I don’t know how to deal with taxes, actual credit cards, money stuff. Insurance, driving a car, even drinking (listen, I’ve been nice. I haven’t drunk so much yet. Shhh. Also, alcohol is gross. I’ll take my smirnoff ice and go). I know my parents aren’t vanishing, I know I still have time to learn (and I intend to, this summer). But I’ve been eighteen for eighteen minutes (literally I just looked at the clock, what a coincidence, I know) and I already kind of want to go back?
On the other hand, I also feel like the world has opened up for me. I can finally put my real age on stuff (shhhhh) – even if it’s a habit now to say I was born in 2000 even when I’m way above the age limit (age limit: 13, me: *I’m 20*) – but most importantly I can go take fitness classes by myself. I’m just kidding, but really it’s been frustrating. For a year now, doors were constantly closed on me because I wasn’t eighteen. When I decided to take an english language program class for the year, 99% of the schools we looked at wouldn’t accept me because I wasn’t eighteen, because I wasn’t done with high school. This February, I wanted to take creative writing classes with a teacher I met at the english language program that didn’t have an age limit (well, it did: seventeen) (thank you U of T), but ha, joke’s on you, they wouldn’t let me register because I wasn’t eighteen. Well now I’m eighteen f*ckers. Imma take your freaking creative writing class (no, I won’t, I’m not in Canada anymore and there’s COVID. But still).
I guess, if we go a little off-topic for now, today isn’t only my birthday. I just officially said yes to a university – the University of Birmingham, here I come!!! – and I even applied to housing and everything. I’m excited to say England will be the fifth country I’ve lived in, and the third where I’ve lived by myself. That’s not to say I’m not about to shit my pants because I’m so scared, but here we are. I’m scared about so many things. And surprisingly, making friends or living far away from my family aren’t that high on the list like it is on so many other’s. I’m worried about having a teacher with a really deep British (*cough* brummie) accent and I can’t understand them – that would suck. I’m scared about living in Birmingham because I made the mistake of researching the crime rate (fun fact: it’s the most dangerous city in England).
I’m so, so scared of getting there and realizing (wow, I should start writing realising) that English and Creative Writing just isn’t right for me. I’ve been dead set of studying creative writing for such a long time that I barely considered anything else, and to be honest if I had to do something else I would be completely lost. But as much as I want to say I’ve been writing for years and I have experience in it, I really don’t. In a way, I’ve been busy with other stuff like ballet and school and the other courses I took. Mostly, I’ve always been too scared to write. I have, sometimes, and the feedback has always been positive. And yet, I’d rather stay in my cocoon dreaming about stories and characters without ever actually writing it down. It’s infuriating. It’s scary.
I don’t want to fail at school. I want to be happy and confident and actually write stories that I like and that others like. I want to have a life where I don’t procrastinate, get things done, wake up early (ish, I’m not that insane), and take care of my body. That’s another story I dream up sometimes. Every time I’m about to start in another place, I dream up this fantasy of how amazing it’ll be. Every time, it did turn out pretty great. But I was never able to fully make the story come to life. And that’s normal, I think. But still, it would be nice.
It’s also in times like these that I realize (realise, damn it) that I’m also already really grateful of what I have. Of course, I could always be a little more productive, a little happier, a little better off financially. I could always have a little more space, a little more luck, like my body a little more. But in the end, could I really? Or a better questions: would I really need it? I have a mother I adore – I guess, in a way, it’s her day too. I decided in the shower I would start getting my mom a gift on my birthday, I think she deserves it after being forced to spend 18 years of her life with me. Oh and also for giving birth to me. We rarely fight because we understand each other but mostly because having been apart a little these past years have helped. I missed her tons, but you know, living with your parents can get old. It’s easier this way, and while I always wish I’d see her more, I think it’s good for us. I have a father that annoys me sooo much sometimes (a lot of times) (mostly because he has a very annoying personality) but I still love him with all my heart and am so, so grateful for him. Both my parents have been so supportive these past years and I’m also really grateful for that.
I’m also grateful for having the opportunities I’ve had in life, because I know not everyone can do the same. I’ve been so lucky. I’m grateful for all the friends I’ve made both online and offline, because you’re a lot of what keeps me going when I have bad days. I’m grateful to have always been surrounded with love, every minute of my eighteen (wow, it still does not not feel weird) years of life. I’m grateful for what I have and the privilege I have in life, and lastly I’m grateful not to be the average eighteen year old. It sounds stupid, and maybe it is, but sometimes I feel like the choices I’ve made and the experiences I’ve had allowed me to grow a lot. I owe that to ballet, to books, to leaving home and to my parents. But also I’m still dumb so maybe not grow that much.
I’ve already written so much, and if you haven’t read it, it’s okay, I wrote it mostly to myself (but also, thank you if you’ve read it). I hope to make this year a memorable one (I feel like it’s New Years now), and I hope to accomplish some of the things I’ve wanted to accomplish. But for now, it’s May 22 2020, I’m officially eighteen and a legal adult and I’ve officially committed to a university. And I should really go to sleep.
happy birthday to me!!
PS: the cat picture as background was chosen because (1) it’s cute, (2) it’s cute and (3) yeah how in the world can I be eighteen???????? I have questions.