“I sometimes feel like I’m
looking down on myself,
like there’s this older, wiser me
watching over this.
Who’s full of all this potential,
but has to live more
to catch up with that other self somehow.
I know I’ll get there.
It’s just sometimes
I want to rush the process, you know?
Maybe… maybe I thought you
were some sort of shortcut.”
An elbow pokes me in my side. “Sounds familiar?” I smile. I’m watching Liberal Arts on the couch with the girls I shared life, hearts and apartments with for the last years. If anyone knows me, it would be them. So I smile, because the poke hit the nail on its head. Yes, it does sound familiar.
I’m nineteen. 19. Nine-teen. Almost 20, but not yet. I’ve tried to keep this number a secret. Nobody needed to know my age, I always avoided the question. Part of the reason was that I felt like people treated me differently once they knew I was so young, they took me less serious. But a big part of the reason was that I didn’t want to be 19. I could hardly wait to grow up, be mature and get older, to know more, have done more and have improved myself.
But maybe it is true that I should be taken less serious because of my age, because maybe that’s the very thing that I ought to do. Take myself less serious.
“You’re young. Take that time to sit under a tree and see what the wind does to the leaves. Once life becomes a bit more complex, you may not always be able to, though we should.”
There will never be a day like today. There never is a moment except for now. I will never be as nineteen as I am now. So it’s time I’m going to act my age. I’ve lived like a responsible 35-year old for way too long, and with that, I’ve been throwing away the opportunity to live life like I can’t do ever again. Now is the time to be a single, 19-year old that loves life and who’s loved back by life. Now is the time to live with an observing eye, itchy feet and an open mind.
What does it look like to be 19? I have no clue. But I know that fun is a far higher priority than I’ve made it to. Crazy, stupid fun without any other purpose than having fun. It’s experiments and challenges. It’s the jumping off cliffs and developing wings on the way down. It’s being able to sleep in till 11am, and giggle about boys and inside-jokes. It’s dreaming and desiring and expecting the future to be glorious. It’s holding a baby because he’s so cute, but giving it back to the parents when there’s a smelly hint of a poopy nappy. It’s discovering who you are, and being okay with change. It’s writing about life lessons that I’ve never had to put in practice yet, but still writing it, because truths and principles need to be defining reality more than life’s disappointments. It’s growing. It’s exploring. It’s discovering. And most of all, it’s fun.
I’ve made a mature, improved version of myself to some sort of god I worshiped and wanted to become like, while my real Father God told me to become like a child again. I will never be younger than I am today, so I better just act my age. I am nineteen, and starting to be proud of it.
“And please, don’t forget to play”
(The first quote is from the movie Liberal Arts. The other two quotes are part of the advice that some older, wiser people gave me.)