It’s May already. It was warm enough to wear a tank top and shorts the other day. My winter coats are nowhere to be found. The world around me is fully green, fully alive–and so am I. Around this season, I start to realize the personal theme or lesson of the current school year. The distinction between who I was and who I am now becomes more clear. I didn’t think there would be a marked change in my personality this year, because my identity is no longer the fluid, pitiful, angsty thing it was in middle school. Each year I think this, and each year I discover that I’m wrong.
In September, I was convinced that after high school, I was going to buy a converted school bus and spend a year wandering across the country, blogging, and “finding myself.” Thus, I had no sense of urgency. Life was just a dreamy playground for me, and I treated it as such. Homework assignments were left unfinished. My peers stressed about college, driving, and adulthood while I spent hours relaxing, completely unconcerned. I stayed up late doing leisure activities, fell half-asleep during my morning classes, and returned home in the afternoon to nap. Rinse, lather, repeat. It wasn’t until January or February that reality hit me hard. It dawned upon me that I didn’t have years to just screw around and be a dreamer while remaining dependent on my parents. No. I realized that I’m strapped on a conveyor belt to independence, whether I liked it or not. So I started working. Everything became about my looming adulthood. Having trouble opening the carton of ice cream? Not ready to be on my own. Lost my purse? Not going to make it in the real world (whatever that means). These thoughts aren’t upsetting as much as they are practical. If I don’t know how to do something, I try to figure out how to do it. If there’s a problem, I fix it. This is my life now. I know what’s realistic and what isn’t. I know how to motivate myself. I’ve found a singular dream, a clear path upon which I’m excited to tread. Maybe, just maybe, I’m becoming an adult. And that’s both scary and invigorating.
Back in eighth grade, when I started this blog, I wrote about being concerned that I’d lose myself as I grew older. I worried that I’d become boring and cardboard. Sometimes I still wonder that. I’m not as spacey as I used to be. I’m not so much of a dreamy do-nothing. But have I really lost myself? I don’t think so. I’ve just matured some. The sparks of passion I had for a myriad of dreams have joined to form a burning flame for just one dream. I’m capable, focused, and competent–but I’m still silly old me, and that brings me comfort.
The drive for success I’ve described here has been the primary reason for my relative absence on this blog (compared to writing once or even twice daily). I’m in high gear. My education is important to me, and I’m owning it. Yes, I’m troubled that I’m not writing as much as I promised myself I would back in September, but my priorities have shifted. Those were different times. Of course I won’t give up on blogging. It’s just going to be hard, but summer will bring more freedom. More opportunities. More growth.
And I just can’t wait to discover it all.