There’s three love letters tucked away in the top drawer of my dresser. I got them when I was 16 from a boy at camp. And up in my closet, there is a pile of used printed plane tickets, from the time I was in love with an army boy. And underneath my bed there is a box covered in stickers, and filled with “happy birthday” cards that my best friend put together for me awhile ago. And beside my bed, 100 black and white photos are hung up on the wall, as a montage of my favorite moments. And in the cabinets beneath my sink is a liter of Fireball. Yeah, a liter! I’ve taken only one shot out of it from my 21st birthday.
This is my room.
For the past 13 years, I have hidden secrets in the closet, cried tears into my pillow, spoken to God, had joyous and hurtful conversations, and have lived here. Really, truly lived. Right here.
It was here that my life changed in 2012 when love didn’t fall my way. And it was here that I taught myself how to play guitar. And it is here that I hosted every insane sleepover with my best friends. Here where Brittany and I planned out our night of noodling houses, and stealing Halloween decorations. Here where I spent a stupid amount of time on my World History homework in high school, and here where Dad told me about Jimmy.
Today, I packed the last 13 years of my life into cardboard boxes.
All of it. 13 years of youth. And finally, at age 21, I’m stepping into this thing called adulthood.
Man, it feels like every time I say the word “adult” it feels like a cuss word. Gross and distasteful. It’s a shame Peter Pan never showed up. Cause really faster than I could say “Bippidy Boppipdy Adulthood” I was graduating college, and getting a full time job. All you youngins reading this, give your parents a hug right now, because time flies and you’ll wake up one day putting all your life into a car. And you’ll miss morning coffee with mom, and eating dinner with dad, and even that dang dog greeting you way too excitedly at the door. This milestone will approach you like a freight train, and it will be exciting and scary, and happy and sad. So just hug your parents extra today. Because the train isn’t slowing down.
Real life is starting to sink in and I’m reminded that there are places to go and things to experience beyond this room. And I’m ready to be so much more than just what these past 13 years have held. You’re not supposed to stay in one place. You are supposed to get older. And grow up. And leave.
I have to keep telling myself, that it is okay to leave.
Not only home. But Joey too. And also, my mom. Mostly my mom. Cause I’m really going to miss her.
But this apartment is the dream. It’s the future. And most importantly it is mine. Not just a room. But a home. I get to make my own home there and decorate it with my pictures, and letters, and fill it with conversations, and stories. And I’m going to do a lot of living there. Lots of real, exciting and scary, happy and sad, type of living there.
So hello, adulthood. I have arrived and I am ready to embrace this beginning.