I think we all have a point in our life where we thought we ruled the world. When we were so full of innocent hopes and dreams and wishful thinkings and thinking we knew it all. A time when being invincible was easy and flying seemed so easy to do. I’ve been around a few people years younger than me in the past week and I see it in them and I remember exactly how that felt. I want to tell them to just hold onto it for as long as they can, but I know they wouldn’t understand. So I just let myself reminisce a little while longer.
The past few years have been a whirlwind. I met my future permanent dude when I was still a teenager. It’s been an absolutely wonderful 2 and a half years since, and I wouldn’t take back a minute of it. But it’s gone by so fast. I feel like I’ve grown up a lifetime’s worth in a short few years.Sometimes I wonder where it’s all gone.
And sometimes I have to just sit back and look at everything from a distance. To look at where I am right now, the happiest I’ve ever been. Then, to look back to who I was when I was so sure I could fly.
These past few days have been especially memory-inducing and thought-provoking for me. My baby brother turned five a couple of days ago. It’s crazy to look at him and my almost two year old sister. It’s like seeing a picture of myself at that age. A moving picture.
I have a house. I’ve had it for months now, but it’s still weird to me. To have a husband and a house when most people my age are exploring and dating. But it’s a good weird. Today when I got home from school, husband was on the edge of our roof cutting down trees. I yelled for him to get down, that he was going to kill himself. He laughed at me and said, “You’re so crazy in love.” And I started singing Beyonce in my head.
I’m going to a university that I love. It’s time-consuming and hard but very worth it. College means a lot to me and reminds me that I still am very young and have a lot to go through. It gives me my balance. Today I took a nice little nap snuggled up to a friend in another one of our friend’s dorms. It reminded me that I am a legit college girl. Sometimes I still need to feel that. Get away from my grown up world and feel the university experience while cuddling with a girlfriend in a dorm room. Being on campus has filled an empty spot that I needed in my life. A part of my youth that I wasn’t sure I would get to have. But I do. I have it. I’m making good grades and meeting lots of cool people and learning. And really,truly enjoying myself.
My extra-curricular activities also suit me nicely. I have an on campus radio show where I get to act like an absolute idiot and wear wig-mullets while broadcasting for an hour. I’m also in a bowling league. The older ladies are always ooh and ahh-ing over the husband and I. Last week one of them asked us when we were going to start having kids. I let them know it would be a while and that I was only 21. One of them proceeded to ask Robby “How did you get with such a young chick-a-dee?” Husband responded with “That’s just how I do.”
I’m a mentor. And I’m really loving that as well. I’m learning how to be a good influence, and I’m learning so much about myself along the way. I feel like I’m walking around a little more aware. I think more about what I say and do. My eyes are a little more open. Yesterday the Little and I went to a park and ate junk food and talked. Just talked. She trusts me. She lets me see her text messages and she talks to me about silly boys. She reminds me what it was like when I was around her age.
I see this picture of me. Three years ago. 2007. I was barely 18 and in Maryland visiting my best friend. I had recently graduated highschool. I had months before returned from a 10 day trip to Europe. I climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower. Now here I was flying on a boat, trying to do a Titanic pose with my favorite girl in the whole world. And I think this is very symbolic for me because I felt like I could fly at that time. I had started to travel and I had a waitressing job that I was banking at. I was itching to move out and saving up money in a plastic bag for my first car. I thought I knew everything. I didn’t know anything. I was naive and trustworthy and awkward and carefree. It was months before my first heartbreak. About two years before my baby sister would be born. A year and a few months before I would meet my future husband. Two and a few months before I would say “I do.” Two and a half years before a childhood friend would pass away in a car accident. Before I realized how short and precious life really is. Before my first kiss, before my house, before my twenty-first birthday, before I would hurt anyone or anyone would ever hurt me. Before I was ever broken or broken-hearted. I was a fresh slate. And I thought I ruled the world. I thought I could fly. Looking back, I realize I wouldn’t tell myself anything differently today. I wouldn’t tell myself about the joys of finding my dreams or the pain of losing someone so close. I wouldn’t let me know that I was about to do something that would change my whole world and everything I’d ever believed in. I would let myself continue to believe that everyone had my best intentions at heart; That boys always meant what they said and that girls didn’t have petty jealousies or hidden meanings behind their subtle words. I would let myself keep saying what I really felt before I knew how to play the game; Say when I was hurt, or angry, or sad, instead of turning my emotions into catty comebacks or bitchy comments. I wouldn’t tell myself about the friends I was soon to lose or even about the many wonderful ones I was going to gain. I wouldn’t even try to change all of the hurt I was about to put myself or others through. I wouldn’t tell myself about the stupid mistakes I would make or all the accomplishments I’ve achieved that I always hoped for. If I could go back, I would let myself be obliviously innocent, If only for a couple months longer. I would learn soon enough. And those wings, those wings you’re so sure you have before anything bad ever happens, are hard to come by and so easy to lose. I wouldn’t say a word. I think I’d just watch myself. Flying.