Once upon a time

you were a little girl who lived in a clean house with loving parents & a teeny-tiny room & the most perfectly odd, Dora-the-Explorer haircut. You sang and pranced around the house like a Disney princess, & you had not a care in the world. You were good at music, writing, playing the piano, being obedient. You imagined adventures, made up games, & you were good at that too. Parents loved you. Friends adored you. You were happy. & all you wanted to do was grow up.

And then you grew up.

After that, life was like a flowing stream, moving slowly and then all at once. You started high school. You made friends, & then you lost some. You fell (hard). You worked hard & graduated. You figured out what you wanted to do, sort of. You got into college. You had your heart broken. You struggled with first-times, and picked up first-habits. You got more involved. You changed your hair (spontaneously!). You saw things & lost things & you changed. Life went on. But all the while, you believed there was something better out there that you too deserved, & you searched and fought for it, the same way that little girl did.

And here’s something you should know, because every princess should understand this: you will learn these things over & over again, because you haven’t grown up (and maybe you never will). You will figure out your wildest passion, & you will chase it. You will fall in love & have your heart broken, perhaps a few or many times. You will get a job (yes, you will), love or hate it, but in the end you will appreciate it. You will travel the world. You will see life & death & love & hatred, and someday, you will understand that these things are necessary. You will not only exist, but you will live. And living will not always come easy. You will struggle, but you will find your worth. You will cherish silence and appreciate the music of life. You will question many things, and you very well may never understand them, but in everything you will seek (and find) meaning. You will search for answers. In the wrong places. In love. In the laughter of others. Or in the face of despair. At a park bench overlooking the city. Kneeling at the altar. You will search and search, & eventually you will find them.

But don’t worry about all that just yet. Let me tell you something about you, now.

You’re (about to be) a ripe 20 years old. You’re young, but somehow you feel old. You’re tired of the same old routine. You’ve seen things/people change & un-change. You drive a 2010 Chevy Cobalt (nicknamed Coby) that you adore. On a basic level, you’re chill. Content, even, but not complacent. You love to laugh, and making others smile is a favorite pastime. You hate ketchup, and you don’t drink soda. But you looooove ice cream. You also have a strange obsession with boys in boy-bands. You prefer reading to television (but Netflix is a close second). You love quotes, Scripture, and finding inspiration. You also love musicals. On that note, you enjoy music, all kinds of music. You’re open to new ideas & experiences. You’re an only child who constantly finds herself wandering. You aren’t close to your parents, and they annoy the heck out of you, but you love them regardless. You’ve finally found some really, really good friends. (Lord knows how long it took to get there, & still climbing.) You have a big heart with the tendency to love too fast, too much, and especially too hard. Because of this, you’ve been hurt. Also because of this, you’ve found strength & moved forward. You’re in love with the sweetest boy ever. You’re finally being treated right, but for some reason that still scares you. You think you worry too much. You know you worry too much.

You’re a dreamer. And you’re happy. You’ve been raised Catholic your whole life, & you are just now discovering what that means. And you are thirsting for more. You’re also semi-employed, but you’re going places. You have a pretty good idea of what you want to do, but no idea how or where to start. You’re a year away from graduation, & the concept of the “real world” frightens you. Nevertheless, you’re excited. You want to travel, to see the world in all its mystery and splendor. You want to get married to Prince Not-So-Perfect Charming and have more than one kid (always more than one kid, please). You want a cute little house in a cul-de-sac located nowhere near Suburbia, but as long as it’s home. You want to work hard & find lifelong fulfillment, even after you retire. You also want to meet the future version of yourself and be proud of who she is.

You take chances & you make mistakes. You learn. You meet people who will leave, and find the ones who are meant to stay. You grow, and life goes on- a formula of uncalculated non-predictions, unanswered questions, utter chaos, mumbo jumbo words in your head scribbled on pieces of paper, typed out on lengthy blogs like this one. Who knows how it will end. Someday, it will all make sense. Once upon a (present) time, you are a 20-year-old girl/young woman/whatever sitting in the empty living room of the apartment you share with three friends, sipping a hot tea, writing in your blog, thinking about life.

THE END….. sike. (To be continued.)

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