4/3

It was my birthday yesterday. Let me tell you something . . . it was certainly one to remember.

If the 20’s are anything like how I rang them in, then I’m looking forward to living out the next ten years. Families, friends (both old and new), acquaintances . . . they all know how to make me feel so special.

Well, ‘special’ lacks the sense that I was feeling all day yesterday. I felt so much more than just ‘special’. So much more definite, so much more dynamic.

It’s so difficult to describe the way I felt just because it was so surreal.

12:30 a.m. on April 3, 2014 . . . and my brother made me cry.

Now let me explain something about my brother. He’s important. Not just to me, not just to my parents, but to all. He’s a living example of someone that I wish to be. But yesterday, on April 3, 2014, my brother told me it was the other way around.

You wake up every morning with an intention to live life to the fullest, every minute is a task to better yourself. Every minute is spent making your life better, and I’m proud of that. I think you’re going to succeed in every aspect of your life, because you have the drive and determination to do just that. I look up to you kiddo.

It’s an odd feeling when you hear words that are so empowering and so meaningful to you. It’s the kind of words that once you hear them, something sets off inside of you. You aren’t sure whether or not to cry, because you know you aren’t upset.

However, you cry anyway. It’s the kind of tears that once they start, they don’t stop. And they have a way to make you remember that you have it. You have that tenderness from someone that everyone longs for.

Those words, they keep running through your head once you hear them. You can’t explain why, but in that moment, you feel vast. You feel that sense of closure and you feel so large.

And all I kept questioning was how I got to be this way. How I got to be so fortunate, how I got to be so alive, how I got to be so happy.

I’m made up of flaws. From my head to my toes, every inch of my body. I can’t make decisions. I am a terrible singer. I strive to be the smartest student in every class, yet I fail each time. But, my family and friends . . . the mend me. Like a mechanic mends his engines and a doctor mends his patients.

If you knew me two years ago, you would not believe that I was the same person. I fought to be someone that I didn’t even know. I was caught somewhere between wanting to be the blameless and pristine lady to being the rebellious teenager who couldn’t say no to pressure. For a while, both sides worked. I was lukewarm. My half-hearted beliefs caused me to get lost. I was lost in who I wanted to be, and who I even was.

I’m slowly coming to the realization of who I am. I’m still not all there, but I am certainly being mended. I learn new things about me each and every day, as if I was one big puzzle piece and the pieces are gradually molding together.

My family . . . they have led me. From one bridge to another, I am stumbling and they are holding.

My friends . . . they give me realization. Realization that not everything in this life is meant to be figured out, and realization that being alone doesn’t solve all questions like I once believed.

So, I’m old in some ways. I make decisions to the best of my ability and I hold responsibility for each action that I take. I make appointments, I obtain jobs, I attend interviews. I manage money, I attend meetings, I contrive with my schoolwork. But in other ways, I’m still a little girl. I listen to Backstreet Boys and I attend Miley Cyrus concerts and I play with puppies. I count sheep when I can’t sleep, I will beg for another piece of cake, and sometimes I just need to sleep in the same bed as my mom.

I feel a sense of anguish when I think back to the days in which I could walk into my room and see a splash of yellow and tie-dyed waves running across my walls. The smell of fresh cut grass from my dad’s lawn mower as I’m performing back-handsprings on my trampoline. The smell of my mom’s spaghetti as I watch Boy Meets World. Pretending I am the catcher as my brother practices pitching to me. Riding bikes and coming up with code names like ‘redheart, heartred’ and getting swept across the face with a branch the day before we took school pictures. Attending Vacation Bible School with my friends and having my mom pick me up each day and asking what I learned and how it went. Carrying my Blues Clues backpack down the hall to my kindergarten class with a lunch of peanut butter and jelly packed inside.

The anguish then brings my mood back to joy. I must be happy with where I am and I must be happy that all of these memories are glued inside of my head. The sense of anguish that I am feeling, wishing that I could turn back time to relive those precious memories, is just a minuscule feeling compared to the abundant amount of bliss that it has brought me.

It brought me to where I am today. The days in which I walk into my room and see two more beds and two more closets with plain white walls and Tri Delta canvases hung all around. The smell of hot dogs and popcorn as I attend Razorback baseball games, and the smell of chicken every Friday. Pretending I am a teacher as I study the notes in front of me, for that is what I wish to be within the next few years. Running on trails and doing push ups to try to do anything in our power to stay fit and healthy. Attending class with my friends and having to walk twenty minutes across campus at a rapid pace just to get to the next one on time. Carrying my North Face backpack down the sidewalks by Old Main. This is where I am, and this is honestly the only place I could ever wish to be. With the mending of my family and friends and the words said from my brother that I will carry with me in my heart forever, I am happy. And that is all I could ever hope to be.

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A day filled with laughs, tears, streamers, Zaxby drinks, family, friends, sushi, and more cake than I could than I could ever eat… Cheers to another 20 years of life ahead of me with the best family and friends by my side.

xoxo,

kodi.

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