Photo by Paolo Raeli
I love youth.
I remember being eight-years-old in the shower dreaming of all the wonders of my later self. As I scrubbed an excess of shampoo into my hair, I thought about all the quintessential “classy” ways I’d celebrate my aging. I was going to throw a to-die-for 16th birthday bash (Spoiler alert: I didn’t); I would have cute boys courting me left and right (you can guess how this turned out); I was going to become rich and famous (still have time left on that one).
I’m about seven months away from reaching adulthood. While I’m excited to fully immerse myself in all the opportunities life has to offer, part of me wants to cling onto my excessive giddiness. My friends and I recently went to my school’s winter formal dance, a night of scream-singing, questionable dancing, and too many pictures. We arrived at one girl’s house and spent hours listening to throwback songs and helping each other get ready. It is a well-kept secret that the DJ plays the best songs at the end of the dance, so we were one of the few clusters of people left singing by 11 p.m. And as I stumbled into my bedroom, makeup smeared and hopelessly happy, I realized the transience of my youth.
With only seven months left, I can tell you that minor-hood is treating me well. I love being a stupid, naive teenager. While I haven’t fallen hopelessly in love (yet), I’ve found my group of uniquely wonderful friends. I’ve discovered my passion for creative writing. I’ve gone on some crazy adventures.
I’m now older than the characters of my cheesy YA books. A minor con of aging, but one that strangely scares me. As unruly and confusing as youth is, I’ve grown into it. I like how there’s no pressure to know exactly who I am. I can be an amateur photographer, a shit-chef, a to-be author. I can engross myself in the quintessential teenager things like curling my hair for school dances.
Youth is the beginning of summer break when time feels infinite, like it could stretch if you just tugged on it hard enough. As I’m approaching my last days though, every moment has grown more special. When I feel restless, I go on long walks in my neighborhood while calling my friends. We devise crazy schemes and gossip about boys as I stomp around the sidewalk, my voice filling the quiet until houses blocks away probably know my life story by now. With each phone call session, I see the dwindling time left. Once we all leave for college, it won’t be the same.
I’m not ready to leave the tranquility of my neighborhood streets and the craziness of youth. I love laughing about how “extra we are” with my friends. Bad stories are a godsend to hear and tell. I have yet to be jaded by failure. There are emotions I have yet to feel and life lessons I have yet to learn.
I’ve only got a few months left. Here’s to giving them hell.