today, i turn 20

my childhood generated the foundation:

learning how to swim after hiding under the lifeguard’s stand. the hum of cicadas at my nine o’clock bedtime. playing outside from dawn until my mother called from the porch for the third time. flipping between VH1 and CMT in the mornings before school. breakfast for dinner on Tuesday nights at church. writing songs for us cousins to perform in the living room. sleeping in my sister’s room on the eve of Christmas. Saturdays occupied by swim meets. waking to sharpie on my face from the events written on my hand. attending every vacation bible school in town. making friends with everyone in the room. theatrically sobbing in my best friend’s arms the day she moved away. experiencing bullying for the first time. realizing i possessed things accompanied by insecurity.

my teenage years were formative:

developing my own taste in music and political views. getting an ipod touch and facing exposure to social media. enduring body dysmorphia. falling in love for the first time. the dissolve of my innocence. experiencing heart break. the slow removal of my champagne-colored glasses. a psychedelic array of emotions. getting drunk off of three wine coolers. singing outside of sunroofs on the way to the next party. driving to overlooks and conversing with the stars. finding hidden gems in small towns. feeling the relentless clock tick. my final week at my summer church camp. moving three hours away to college. thinking i had everything figured out. transferring schools, only to find out it was never in the cards for me. a tattoo of a butterfly on my wrist. unraveling who my real friends were. courageously standing up against sexual harassment, although it costed my job. faced with harsh reality: no one was coming to save me. breaking down completely in order to collect my shards and create the blueprint. teaching myself to unpack and rewire, even during a global pandemic. acknowledging the falsities i once accepted as my truths. celebrating the genesis of the woman i deserve to be.

i have faith this next chapter will birth evolution.

i welcome my 20s with wide stretched arms. there are lessons to implement and even more to dissect. as immersing oneself into this monumental decade is imperative, i am prepared to live each and every day for myself. the rest will fall into place as i ferociously embrace the unknown.

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