I turn 20 in exactly 4 months to the day. And how alien it is, to be starting a new line of numbers, to be nearing the end of this era– still being a teenager somewhat allowed (and definitely expected) to make all the mistakes in the world. The closing credits of childhood I’d been anticipating since I was old enough to anticipate anything at all. It is finally here, sitting on my porch, waiting for me to answer the door, tapping its foot impatiently. This is the sound of the rest of my life calling… if I lean my head against the wood, I swear I can hear it breathing.
It’s a strange thing, truly, because I really do feel like I am about to open a door, a portal to somewhere I’ve never been before. A door that leads somewhere and closes another somewhere for good. I feel simultaneously like I’ve been 20-something my whole life, but also like every atom in my body is screaming no, no, no, you are still so young, you can’t fill the shoes of someone any older than you are right now. Because 20-something means I have to have it somewhat figured out. No one’s gonna stoop down to tie my shoes anymore, to clean up all of my figurative glasses of spilled milk. No one’s gonna do my laundry, fold it, leave me notes in my lunch. No one’s gonna make my lunch or book doctor’s appointments for me, wiping sick tears from burning cheeks. And it’s not even like I’m losing a mother any time soon, God forbid, but I am losing the ability to have everything handed to me, ironed and cared for, tended to and spoon-fed.