Barely Legal

Growing up, birthdays have always been a huge deal. My mom would invite the whole family and we would have these elaborate dinners. That idea snowballed into celebrating with friends. With different groups of friends, multiple celebrations were arranged which led to the extension of it becoming a week-long celebration.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love being celebrated.

As people you care for gather around, you realize how much love you have in your life.

Since I came to the U.S. though, that has been a different story. Last year I spent my 20th birthday with my roommates and a couple of friends. Nothing huge, because I was still relatively new to the country. There were friendships, but none like those back home.

Fast forward to 2016 and it’s safe to say I have a go-to group. 2 weeks prior to my birthday, I moved to the other side of the U.S. To give you a rough idea of what that means is that I’m a 5-hour flight away and 3 hours ahead of my friends back in the West Coast.

So here I am on my birthday eve, in a completely new city surrounded by strangers.

It’s moments like this that remind me that I’m growing up. The act in of itself can mean many things, but the gist of it is accepting change.

Moving coast to coast was terrifying, but not impossible. How could I turn down this dream that I have been pursuing ever since I can remember? You don’t. You do whatever you can to hold onto it, even if it means leaving a place you have grown comfortable in.

Even though I may be physically alone here, I know that all my friends are with me in spirit. Time zones are a funny thing, I get wishes a day before and the day after. If you find yourself in a similar situation, I say treat yoself however you can.

Spend the entire day doing exactly what your heart desires, even if that means lounging in bed binge watching The Office.

All in all, though, I do hope you find it in yourself to pursue that dream of yours. However big or small it may be, do it. Speaking from experience, I must say that it’s absolutely worth it.

As my Narrative Storytelling professor told me, “You have one body, so do yourself a favor and go for it.”

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