Sunday, January 20, 2013
buckling down and dreaming wildly
I turned eighteen yesterday. It's a significant formality; touchstone in a subtly, steadily accruing arch. Just a day; a number; no magical wreath of maturity; but a penciled dash marked 5'4" on a strip of tape on the wall. A bench on the mountain path. A place to stop and mark the view. People usually say they don't feel different on their birthdays, but since turning 15 at least, I've always felt a definite shift leading up to my birthday--just a sort of settled knowledge that I am not the same person I was a year ago.
Eighteen puts the point on a nebulous sensation I've been wanting to write about since I started this senior year of high school. It's that Now is a time of mingled possibility and responsibility; of dreaming wildly and buckling down to make things happen. The dreams of my childhood are growing thick and heavy, condensing like vapor into coal grey rain clouds. Soon definite droplets will be falling, painting traceable patterns into the pavement, falling one place and not another. The ubiquitous, amorphous haze of ambitions will begin to clear, settled into streams of choices and action.
But clearly, there's an ocean of room for youthful exuberance yet (including writing in Anne-of-Green-Gables purple prose like this). It's the combination that is so heady: having a head full of dreams and hands full of work.