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The Call of the Void

Photo Credit: Genessa Gutzait · The Sentry

At the age of four, I was admitted early to kindergarten because I was going to turn five the following month anyway. So, every year, in all my years of going to school, I have always been the youngest in my class. People would tell me all the time the things I would miss out on because all of my peers would be old enough to do so. Initially, I saw this as a disadvantage, but then I thought, compared to me, they’re all one year closer to death. 

But in my family, my age is seen from a different perspective. There, I am the first born and the oldest of all the grandchildren. There, I am a role model and a symbol of responsible behavior that all the younger kids can look up to. At first, I saw this as an advantage, but then I thought, I too am one year closer to death. Funny how that works. 

Nineteen doesn’t feel any different from 18 or 17 or 16. There’s still so much I can’t (wait to) do, so much to see, learn, and experience. However, in my 19 years of living I have learned so much about myself and others, had the opportunity to do amazing things, try new experiences, and I have so many years of that ahead of me. For that I am grateful. 

Growing up, I remember literally counting the years until I turned 18, wishing to leave my parent’s house and “start my life and do adult things.” Now all I wish is to turn back the clock. Sorry, but bills? Taxes? Loans? I’m good love, enjoy. 

I wish I could go back in time to tell my younger self to appreciate being young and not rush into adulthood. Hell, I’m still young. So, as I celebrate 19 years around the sun, I’ll be wishing for two things: to always keep my youthful presence, and to be able  to celebrate my birthday for 100 more years to follow.   

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