Schools out: 3 days
Graduation: 5 days
18th birthday: 12 days
I've been thinking a lot about turning 18. When you turn 18, you can... buy cigars, porn and lottery tickets, order of infomercials, enlist in the military, etc. You are officially the age of an "adult," aka, not a minor anymore. You are expected to be capable of making "smart" decisions, and if not, you are old enough to know better and accept "full" punishment. You parents are no longer legally responsible for you.
But as I leave "Chapter 5: Teenage years" behind, and step into an entirely new PART of my story, I am reluctant to let the child in me go. So often, I am so focused on what is to come that I forget everything I am leaving behind. Well, today, everything I am leaving behind has hit me and I'm beginning to wonder if I used "PART ONE: Childhood" of my story, to the best of my abilities.
How much time did I waste on stupid things that will never matter?
How many times did I over-think a situation?
Did I spend more time trying to cover-up the true me instead of being myself?
Was I so afraid of mistakes, I never took a risk?
Did living up to my "identity" or "status" conflict with what I really wanted to do?
Was I so self-centered that I missed an opportunity to make someone else smile?
too many times to count.
Childhood is the time when you can make a mistake, and then learn from it. You can wear your nice white t-shirt and get it completely filthy because your mom can always soak in the washer and make it clean again. It's the time when your biggest worry should be what to wear or finishing your book report. It's the time when life is all about you... just to teach you that the world doesn't revolve around you. It's the time for learning.
The fact that 18 years of your life have gone by, means your an adult, doesn't carry much weight with me. I know a lot of kids who have had to "grow-up" before there time, and plenty of kids who are still waiting. And the fact of the matter for me is, in 12 days, I'm not ready to close PART ONE of my story.
So how about a part one and a half? I don't want to wait any longer for "life to happen," but I am not sure I am ready yet... but, are we ever ready?
As a good friend tells me, "Emilie, it's not the end of the story."
I don't want to waste time waiting for something to happen or wishing I had done something differently. I'd rather just [live].
I am the author of my story, and although many people have influenced me, I've always been the one to make the pen meet the page, and I always will be. God may already know the end of my story, he may know my mistakes and my excitement, my hurts and my loves but I am still the one in control of the pen. God will lay out a path for me, that I can choose to follow or not. And I can tell you now in complete confidence, I won't always make the right choice. He will open and close doors but it is my choice to act. If you asked if God was in control, I'd answer, in life and death, yes, in circumstances yes, does he have the ultimate authority on heaven and earth, yes but does he control me, no. I have to decide. God will always be laying out a path for me, and when I diverge, or walk away, he will always have detour for me to get back on track. But I decide where to take each step, and in what direction.
Sitting on my roof always puts things into perspective for me. I can see where the mountains meet the rolling clouds, and for some reason I am reminded what this life is all about. It is not about where you are a good writer or not, its about the words left on the page. People will not remember your successes, they will remember your failures and challenges. They will not remember the chapter or page when you got dealt a royal flush... so stop waiting to be dealt the perfect hand. The legacy you leave is when you learn to play the cards you were dealt.