– No quote can properly describe the emotions that come with turning 21.
I expected nothing, but an hour went by as I lay in bed this morning and I played all my favorite moments of my life in my mind. I didn’t cry surprisingly, but I came close multiple times.
I now joke about the fact that my parents took me to aquariums and parks but they never took me to the zoo, THE ZOO! The first time I went to the zoo was at 19, my ex boyfriend took me to the zoo as a date, weird but understandable.
I remember being really little and my dad took me up to the park, that’s where we waited for my mom to get off the bus. My dad didn’t have a car and he probably wished my mom didn’t have to take the bus, but that memory makes me happy. We’ve been together through it all.
I remember leaving my hometown, the tiny town of Empangeni, I remember how hard it was to adjust to johannesburg and how I blamed my parents. I’m so grateful they took me out of that little place, they broadened my horizon so that I wouldn’t have a problem doing it on my own one day and I DID.
I remember the time I got my heart broken, how I thought my world was ending because of that boy. What I remember the most was I had just gotten a little sister and her little smile motivated me to get through this so when it’s her turn, I know what to do. I’ll never forget crying in my mom’s arms or explaining to my dad that I had to choose between a boy and my dreams. That boy isn’t in my life anymore. I’m 10 steps further into my dreams and goals.
I thought about how many people showed up at the airport when I was leaving South Africa, all the phone calls and texts. The many hugs I had to endure that day, how I laughed at my Aunt for crying and then crying too because of it.
I smiled at how lucky I am to be in a home with people I love, with two little girls who have the ability to make me angry, sad and happy all at once in a day. Two amazing people who’ve been taking care of me, welcoming me into their family and making every experience unforgettable.
I thought about all the new people that I’ve welcomed into my life, how their stories intertwine into my own, one day I will look back and giggle at all the little adventures.
There is a kind of liberating feeling with the thought of turning 21, not because I’m officially an adult but because I am now able to demand being taken seriously in social settings. That makes me happy and terrifies me all at once.
Here is to being an adult, and when I don’t feel like adulting – you can find me on the floor surrounded by crayons and a coloring book under my nose!