Growing up, people always thought I was older than I actually was.
And I guess that always kept me in the mindset of wanting to be older; if people saw me a certain way, why couldn’t I just be that way? (I guess it played a bigger role in my life than just my age, but let’s focus on my age for this one)
So, when I entered high school, I was completely and entirely taken aback by the seniors; they were matured, puberty was behind them, and there was a young man I was completely smitten by.
And the story goes exactly how you’d expect; I liked him so much, he filled a lot of those daydreams, and I thought could it be, could I LOVE him? (This is very Sixteen Candles of me, and he could have totally been my Jake Ryan; except I’m not Molly Ringwald, and we didn’t end up together)
But we hung out, flirted, texted, and “dated” (I say that very loosely, in my young impressionable freshman mind, I thought that talking to a boy every day meant we were together) and he may or may not have even stolen my first kiss. Alright, he didn’t steal it, I kissed him willingly.
But with this boy, followed “heartbreak”; which was inevitable- he was a senior, I was a freshman, and he was going to be leaving for college before I knew it.
So he left town that summer- and me, with one single kiss in my pocket, a heart that hurt, and a less jaded, less rose colored world. AND I STILL WASN’T OLDER.
Yes, in my mind, I’m thinking, “why is this world so unfair?!?”
But once he left, I moved on (out of sight, out of mind?), and I continued high school; and then in my junior year, I really fell in love. With a boy my age, and it was a beautiful first love. Collecting kisses in my pocket, holding hands, and going on dates! He taught me how to live, and learn, and open my heart a little more each day. This was a real relationship. But as time would have it, we eventually broke up, and there was real heartbreak (gratefully, we are still friends to the day); but there was also a realization that acting my age was exactly what I needed to do, and that freshman “love” was nothing but an infatuation.
And from this, I’ve learned that there is nowhere else that I need to be, but right here. Enjoying these moments and all the milestones that follow growing up. I may still be really mature, and thinking I’ll be a lonely cat lady (although I’m allergic- so maybe lonely cat lady sans cats)- but this is the way the cookie crumbles, and since then I’ve collected more kisses, dated here and there, and you guessed it, I’ve fallen in love again.
This is the kind of love that colors in the spaces, and changes the way you see everything. I’ve fallen in love with myself. And I think this is the most pivotal love you can ever have; other than the one with your significant other (but that’s for another stone, to be turned over some other day.)
Until then, I’ll spend the time crossing things off my bucket list, calling every moment an adventure, and falling in love with the world.
Much Love, Miranda
Have you thanked your younger self today?