So this post is inspired by Carrie Fletcher’s video “My Past Selves.” It’s embedded above and I recommend you watch it before reading this, but this should still make sense without it if you don’t wanna.
In Carrie’s video she talks about how she tries to live for her past selves and she talks about suddenly realizing that you have grown up. (Technically Dodie talked about that in her video which inspired Carrie’s, but Carrie mentions it. This is a bit of a crazy chain of content.) Suddenly, you realize one day that you aren’t the person you used to be. I don’t think about my past selves in the way that either Dodie or Carrie do. I, honestly, don’t think about my past selves much. My memories make me as a person, but I don’t think about past me as a different person.
Because I skipped high school, I’ve been thrown four years into the future and now I’m at a similar life stage to Carrie and Dodie, but I am not their age at all. I’m still a self-centered teenager. I’m only 17 and I still am wracked by crazy teenage hormones that are increasingly frustrating. I will be 22 at some point (I’m pretty sure Carrie and Dodie are either 21 or 22 , but I’m not sure. Sorry, girls, if I’m wrong), but I’m still 17 right now and I don’t have the same perspective as them, but I do have my own unique one. 😛
As you know, if you’ve been keeping up with me lately, I spent this past weekend at the beach with my family. I’m home now, but I got to spend a nice weekend with my family. My grandmother, bless her, said, before we left, that I’d “grown up while she wasn’t looking.” I didn’t want her to cry, or I’d cry, so I was a bit rude, well cheeky is probably a better word. If it makes her feel any better, I, myself, grew up without noticing either. I’m not totally grown up and I never will be, but I’m still pretty big. I can’t hide under the kitchen sink anymore. I can always reach the top shelf. I’m no longer completely and utterly terrified by the idea of sex. That was a big deal in middle school. I have boobs that don’t hurt a shitton when I run into something. I’m probably done growing, sadly. I’m stuck in the darkness of teenagerness, but I have to worry about adult things like going to work and applying to grad school. I have to pay for gas and I have an income. I’ve paid taxes three years in a row now. It’s scary. I suddenly stopped being a little kid that didn’t know not to do the monkey bars in gloves and now I’m graduating from college in the spring, at eighteen.
After that, I can do whatever I want. I’ll be an adult, with a bachelor’s degree and ready to conquer the world. I’ve been feeling a bit lost lately because of the massive number of opportunities I can choose from. It’s hard to prioritize the entire world. I know that I can do literally anything I want and honestly that’s making it hard to choose. However, I’ve realized that I don’t have to choose right now.
Instead of looking up at the huge number of stars in the sky, I need to focus on the rungs of my ladder. I can easily choose which ladder to climb: the one that makes me the happiest. I’m not just going to hope this takes me to the star I want, but I can’t focus on the stars right now. I need to focus on making it through each day. I can look forward later. Hopefully, this doesn’t backfire. I’m only 17. I’ve got time.
Maybe that’s what growing up is. Climbing the ladder one rung at a time. Hoping the entire time that when you look up, you’ll be somewhere good. Looking up or looking down for too long is dangerous, but if you keep on climbing, maybe you’ll make it. Somewhere. That sounds entirely too nerve wracking. Carrie, Dodie, how did you do it?
I guess climbing the ladder is what I’ve been doing these past seventeen years and I only just noticed it was there. The title of this blog is something Carrie says in her video and I agree. Growing up is weird. It something that happens incrementally until you realize it happened. Or you watch successful YouTubers realize it happened to them (I’m looking at you Carrie and Dodie) and then wonder when it will happen to you. I know roughly when that day will come. Probably a little over four years from now in 2019. That’s when I’ll be about their age. But then again. I don’t know. I could grow up faster then them.
Growing up is weird and scary, but it’s nice to see people who seem to have made it. Not just my parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, but strangers who I’m half friends with because I watch their videos and read their great books about the “Teen Age.” Thanks for that one Carrie. If you’re reading this, thank you for everything you’ve produced so far and will continue to produce. I can say without a doubt, that you are helping me through my “Teen Age.”
I only have two and a half years before I turn twenty and I’m out of this crazy time, hopefully. That seems like forever and the blink of an eye at the same time. I don’t know how to exist as not a teenager. I don’t know how to do this thing you call being an adult. I’d like to stay a teenager forever. (Here’s a good video explaining why this is a bad idea.) I know I can’t, shouldn’t and won’t, but all those stars are scary. I guess I just have to remember to keep my eyes on the rungs.
I’ll watch the rungs and hope that if I just hold tight enough, I’ll make it out of here alive.