I don’t do well with birthdays; I never have. In general I am an emotional person; I get weird during “big life moments”. I honestly just haven’t figured out how to act. My twentieth birthday is right around the corner, and while I realize that this is not old, it is different. I will no longer be a kid; childhood will official be over. This is incredibly scary to me.
The summer before I entered the sixth grade my mother decided that we needed to find a new church to attend so we “shopped around”. Each Sunday that summer we attended a service at a different place of worship. One morning we went to the Methodist Church in my small town; I was eleven. Like most small town churches halfway through the service the congregation shared joys and concerns. I vividly remember sitting towards the back with my parents as a middle-aged gentleman raised his hand. The preacher called on him and he stood saying, “It’s my boys nineteenth birthday today.” To which the preacher responded,”Wow, last year of being a kid, enjoy.” Those words have stuck with me. At the time I thought that the boy was old and mature, that I had an eternity before I was in his shoes. Now I’m older than he was then and I no longer feel any of those things. There is no way I am a grownup.
I look back at my past year and I am content. We always think that we could have done more, had more adventures. Of course those things are true for me, but this was a huge year of change. I’m working through a lot of personal issues and creating more art then ever before. I am happy with where I am in life. Yet I couldn’t help look back on this lazy summer Sunday well before I was a teen and think of just how far I’ve come. I am no longer that little girl, but the young woman staring at her twenties. There is so much hope and so much promise, but I can’t help being a little scared as time keeps on passing me by. I had to go back to that Methodist Church and recreate my memory before my teens were gone. It is the first time I’ve been in there since and it felt good to sit in a pew closer to the front. It was important to me that I have a photograph of this once unrecorded memory to keep it alive. One day I’ll be fifty, then seventy, looking back at this image and then I will realize just how young I really am (was).