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Eighteen Is the New Fifty

i don’t have to live half a century to have an existential crisis. i can have one now. i do have one now.


eighteen means i’m an adult, responsible for my actions. no more juvie if i commit a crime. no more “she’s just a kid.” i’m an adult now, and i have to buy my groceries, or maybe not yet since I still live with my parents.

eighteen means i’m two years away from no longer being a teenager. it’s all i’ve ever known. okay, that’s an exaggeration. it’s all i’ve known, at least for the last five years, which feels like all my life, to be honest. what do i do now? i have to own up to every tantrum and lash out and unnecessary fight that i can’t help but pick with my brother. i guess i already do that, but i hate that i’m required.


eighteen means more responsibility (whatever that means).


eighteen means i have more audacity. to do what? i’m not sure yet. maybe the audacity to be honest. to be my real self that i play hide and seek with. even though i’m a little too old to be playing games.


what’s the purpose of being eighteen? what will you bring to the table, eighteen? because all i feel right now is stress. and a bit of pressure. and a little pissed off. i didn’t want to grow up, but time doesn’t care. it moves linearly but i come in waves. and i didn’t realize i was drowning until the water hit above my head.


but maybe i’ll grow taller, though i doubt i’ll have a second growth spurt.


eighteen means i have a say. a say in what i want to eat, even if my tastebuds are still the same as seventeen. i haven’t changed that much. i have a say in how to do my hair, but i already dyed it twice before, and i’m tired of two-toned hair, so i don’t think i’ll be going to the salon anytime soon. i also have a say in when to come home, but i’m scared of the dark and busy streets at night, so really i’ll be home by nine, at the latest ten, but most likely, i won’t be outside at all because i’m still just a kid at heart and it’s scary being outside alone. maybe having a say is just something people say when in reality, the reins are handed from mom and dad to me and back to them because i don’t want to be in charge of myself. i still want a curfew so that i can break it and tell mom and dad i’m eighteen and i have a say.


maybe eighteen means eighteen. it’s just an age. and i’m just me.

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