Today is the day before my eighteenth birthday. Not only is it the last day I shall be this age, but it is also the last day I shall be a child as far as the law is concerned. It’s a big thing, according to many. Lots of people mark their eighteenth birthday by doing something they weren’t able to do while they were children, such as going to an R rated movie, or buying a pack of cigarettes, not to smoke them, just because you can. I’ve decided to reflect on what I’ve learned before I turn eighteen.
If there is one thing that I have learned during the last seventeen years of my life, it’s that you can always be a kid inside, even while you’re dealing with adult issues. People that look upon the world with the eyes of a child laugh more and cry less. They are more content because they know what makes them happy. People with child’s eyes can cut through the drama and see the heart of a problem. Children know life is simple and that life should be fun instead of hard and cruel. Adults make the world hard, not the world.
I’m facing my adult life with the determination to keep my child’s eyes well taken care of, instead of letting them be blinded by “obligations”, and “responsibilities”.
As long as we live, we learn, and as long as we learn, we make mistakes. Making mistakes is a part of being alive, so why sweat it? Why tangle ourselves in the delusion that life is hard when we hold the key to making it simple? When you hurt someone, you apologize. When you fall, you get back up and clean you wounds and heal. When someone hurts you don’t let them hurt you again; whether that means talking it out, avoiding that subject, or avoiding that person all together.
When I was thirteen, I dreamed that I died. Mama told me that it was my self-consciouses way of acknowledging that my life and body were changing from girl to woman and I wouldn’t be able to go back again. In a sense my childhood was dying, but she said “with every end there is a beginning.” My childhood would be over, and I would be an adult, there is no way to turn back the clock. I will go to college, get some degrees and do things no child could ever do. I will not be able to go outside after a rainstorm and throw mud at my brothers unless I wanted to be put in the psycho ward. There are things I can never do again; but that doesn’t mean I can’t have fun like a child, smile and laugh like a child, and be carefree whenever the opportunity presents itself.
With this last essay as the seventeen-year-old me, I bid you farewell.