Happy birthday to me …
Published 5:48 am Wednesday, May 28, 2003
In case that didn't give it away completely, I am once again writing my annual "birthday column." (Okay, so this is only the second year, but who knows, it could become a tradition.)
Last year I wrote about being seventeen. I was hopeful, excited, utterly thrilled with everything before me. I looked to the summer as an adventure waiting to happen and to the fall as a new horizon. I wasn't sure what to expect, I only knew it must be grand.
I wrote that the summer would be carefree. I anticipated my senior year approaching and everything that went with that. I thought of having to make decisions about college, but didn't spend much time with the idea. I wrote that summer would be lazy and that I would soak up the sun.
Today, it has been a year since I wrote that. It's been a year filled with so much change and laughter and turmoil and even some pain. It's been a year that was in some ways exactly what I thought and in other ways, things I'd never dreamed.
I've graduated, moved on. I've past everything that seemed so new and exciting and important last year. So many of the "big" things seem so simple now and I wonder, will I even remember them at all next year? I've made a decision about this fall. I have a full time job. Not a lot has changed in my life outside of school, and yet, everything has.
I'm different now. I look at things differently now. I'm definitely more independent, but I guess that's as it should be. I hate to say it, but in many ways I'm jaded. I don't think that's necessarily bad though. I like who I've become-and who I'm becoming.
Another thing I thought about when I thought of being eighteen is this: Does this mean that I really have to be an adult now? I don't mind that, but I thought of it this way-Does that mean that even though I do the same things they are now expected rather than excepted? I mean the things that I have been doing-having an office job, doing community activities, running on all cylinders at all times-are now more of expected "you're-an-adult-so-grow-up-and-get-busy" necessities than things I wasn't expected to do.
But whatever the next year means or brings, I'm excited again. Once again I look out at new possibilities and new horizons. They too are new and unfamiliar. They too are sure to be filled with learning, growing, laughing, and some hurting. I suppose if I have to pick a theme for this year like I did last year, it is this song:
I'm eighteen and I like it
Yes I like it
Well, I like it, love it, like it, love it
Eighteen, eighteen eighteen
I'm eighteen and I Like it!