On Monday, I was back to being five years old and have just purchased my first Berenstain Book.
On Tuesday, I was in the makeshift playground made of sand and gravel of my first all-girls school and I was arguing to be Pink Ranger, a role I never had the chance to play.
On Wednesday, I was in my first co-ed school, an overly pop culture stimulated eleven year old falling in love with the first boy who called me fat (yes, his disdain for my weight continued on through the many guys I prematurely “fell in love with” over the years). I was drawn back to the time where I slipped in the hallway, much to my embarrassment.
On Thursday, I was a high school junior, awaiting my first prom.
On Friday, I was sitting on a desk of my first job, desperately hoping to become Ugly Betty.
And today on the last day of my travel, Saturday, I realized that so many years have gotten lost in between crying over a guy who didn’t deserve my tears, hitting myself in the head for friendships lost and biting back words I wish I never said.
I woke up today and came face to face with the startling reality that I am no longer a little teenager chasing after my teenage dream of falling in love and being pursued.
Letters in the mail reminded me that I now have responsibilities and I couldn’t run to my parents for help every time I felt my bank account depleting slowly but surely. My parents no longer told me what to do, instead they now simply listen to what’s on my mind and advise me on what step to take next.
I was no longer a little girl, who was powerless and weak. I could no longer blame people or circumstances for my depression or happiness.
I realized that my life was shaping to be something, whether I liked it or not. I now had full responsibility of what’s coming out of my mouth (since there’s no teenage angst to fall back on) and how I treat people.
I realized that my parents are no longer youngsters and in my heart, I truly ache for the times lost getting mad at them just because I couldn’t get what I want. Tears fall from my eyes when I realize that I couldn’t have enjoyed being with them when they were closer to my age. Oh what a joy that would have been.
My siblings are growing up too, if Franzea is any indication of how much our lives have changed.
it’s gripping to know that I’m already in the age that I thought was impossible to reach when I was eleven, for me being twenty two was super old and I always thought that 22 year olds were supposed to drive, have a home and be in a stable relationship.
My eleven year old self would be horridly disappointed (she’d also be horridly disappointed that Nsync has now disbanded!).
In a way, being 22 is pretty much the same as being 11, only this time nobody made excuses for you anymore and responsibility is more than just a word taught by Papa Bear.
Each choice is critical and friendships are more than just a flurry of text messages and late night three way calling phone calls (you’re a liar if you say you’ve never had a three way conversation in your life!)
Although it’s a little scary to think, I wouldn’t trade these days for the ones I’ve lost (but enjoyed!), instead I’m sort of grateful to know that I’m in a better place.
Being 22 is not the same as being 32 (which I heard is way better), but somehow you’re no longer hopping around, trying to figure out who you are. Instead, you’ve found your footing, a little wobbly, but nonetheless still presenting some sort of stability.
For the first time in my life, I am celebrating my quirky traits instead of trying to conceal them. For the first time in my life, I no longer allow my wardrobe to be dictated by countless and sometimes, baseless magazines. I no longer count my calories or workout to death, I finally realized that I am a tall girl, therefore I have big bones which would never shrink no matter how many hours of Piloxing I do, and that I should love my body instead and take care of it through a balanced everything.
But the most important chunk of wisdom is finally being able to shout to the world how much I love Jesus and how much I appreciate the sacrifice He has freely given in order for me to be able to spend eternity with Him and at the same time, enjoy my time on earth.
I wish I could tell you that this journey to self actualization was painless but that would be a lie.
In truth, I am still a mess on most days. There are days that I look at the mirror or pictures of myself and find myself wanting to smash it. There are days when I’m buried in a more than I can bear and I just want to quit, I want to go back to my old, angry self but what would be the point of enduring all the experiences before getting here?
Should I choose to go through all of that in my 20’s where it’s mostly unforgivable? Or should I simply take a step back and swallow my pride and graciously accept that yes, my life is not perfect, my friends are not perfect and my parents aren’t perfect but hey, we’re alive which means it’s bound to get better and not worse.
God promises that “all things work together for the good of those who love the Lord” and for those who have gone through enough wreckage and mistakes, it could only mean better things, better situations and better people in your life.
On my worst days, what keeps me going is knowing that no matter how badly I acted or how much I’ve sinned, God still loves me and whatever happens, He will still love me.
That makes me treat myself better which leads to treating people better therefore leading to a stress-free life filled with chunks of happiness and morsels of sadness.
I look forward to the next 22 years of my life, where I would look back to this journal entry and probably laugh because I’m sure I have no idea what I was getting into.
And for the first time, I’m running the race freely, without any pressure because I know that only one thing is certain at the end of the day, God’s love and that should be more than enough for me to realize that His plans are always for the good so I’ve got nothing to worry about.
And I have a different sense of security, even though I went through a lot to get here. No insecurities, no regrets, simply a joy knowing that whatever it is I went through it was for the good.
God is truly good.