19th In Line

Tonight, on December 7 at exactly 11:58 pm, I turn 19. At that time, I enter my final year of being a teenager. I exit the previous age that dubbed me legal and eligible to vote and that allowed me to buy cigarettes from the liquor store. At the same time that this happens, I enter my final week of my first semester of college and procrastinate on the last final paper that needs to be revised and rewritten by Wednesday-it’s nowhere near done. That’s exactly how I am feeling about turning 19- I am nowhere near done being a teenager.

I have one more year before I turn 20 and am expected to start paying my own car payments. Getting a job has been in the works since I graduated back in June, but now the pressure to get a job is leaning over me every time I need to fill up the gas tank or I stand in line to buy myself lunch.

I don’t know if I am reluctant about inviting an older age with open arms because my youth is sliding out from under me. There is so much I wanted to do during these years that I never really got a chance to do.That doesn’t mean partying or going to the beach every day of summer or becoming homecoming queen. It means living without responsibilities, living without caring, living without restrictions- just getting the chance to live.

I’ve been told that your Twenties are the years to live and to explore and to have the chance to just get up and go wherever you please, whenever you please. And I don’t know if I’m distancing myself mentally from growing older because I am terrified of falling into debt or paying bills all on my own. Feeling dependent on others is one of the worst things to feel right now. As independent as I want to be, I know there is going to be so much that I will still need to depend on somebody else for; whether that be my parents, sister, or someone else.

Maybe it’s just simply the idea of responsibility that terrifies the heck out of me.

Maybe it’s just the chance of not knowing what I want to do with my life. Maybe it’s the ticking clock telling me that time will run out before I get the chance to figure it out.

I am only 19 and yet I feel as if I need to have all of this figured out, as if I need to get on the train to Adulthood and Responsibility and ride as far as I can from my youth. I am not scared of getting older, I am scared of feeling older.

19- the number that has been freaking me out for the past month is finally here, and I don’t know what to do with it.


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