I wish I could always be 18. That was the best year. It was the year of beginnings. It was the first year of studying something I’d chosen, the year I first drank beer and vodka, the year I met my best friend who I love with all my heart. The first year I skipped class, the first time I lived away from my parents and not on holiday, the first time I felt like I belonged in a place, the first time I got tipsy. First time having money, first time being broke. And I was just starting to find out slowly who I really was. When I realised that I’d never be this young and I did crazy things like cycle halfway through Paris with friends ending up watching the sunrise in front of the Eiffel Tower with no idea of how to get home, not feeling the cold. I wish I could spend my life being 18.
When I was 19 I finally understood that I had friends who I loved but, more importantly, that they loved me back. I had my highest moments surrounded by friends feeling safe and invincible. But I also had my lowest moments, because once you acknowledge that someone can love you, you can suddenly be afraid that they won’t. There was a little voice in my head that would surface telling me that I was bothering people, that they might be better off without me. As long as I had reason to believe otherwise I could ignore it however if I annoyed someone and they stormed off or if I was ignored for too long it got harder to fight that voice. It could bring me down as fast as in an afternoon. I’ve had times when I couldn’t get out of bed, barely keeping the depression at bay. I’ve spent nights crying. It’s driven me crazy some days. 19 was the year everything got a little more complicated. There was that. And there was the separation with my some of my best friends as they left for more or less time. One of them I’ve know longer, he was there when I had no-one else. We weren’t the best of friends, we were both awkward then, I think we still are in some ways, but we were friends. We’d both wanted to escape, he drew futuristic cities and I wrote stories about dragons. We both read and I liked to just sit next to him and read. But now we’re so far from each other, I don’t know how to reach him. He was my best friend once, and he’s still dear to me but I’m afraid that soon the thin string linking us together might break and I’ll lose him.
Then there was the other thing. I’ve thought a lot about the other thing and it still isn’t clear in my head. I can’t be sure of how I feel but I can take a pretty good guess. It makes everything so much more complicated. I can’t tell you about the other thing yet, because I still don’t know, I’m still confused. It’s one more thing to figure out and it’s been turning around in my head like a goldfish. It’s slowly taking shape but it can also move backwards. I have so many questions for myself. There are so many things I’ve yet to learn about myself. I’m not ready for 20 just yet. I have to figure that thing out before. At least.