18. You Went By Too Soon.

18 . . .

How can I summarise an entire year?

An entire 365 days of moments, both big and small, momentous and innocuous. Looking back on it, what’s the difference? I can tell you that I went to Mauritius, or I saw Red Hot Chilli Peppers live, or I went here and I did that, yet the things that stick in my memory the most are the tiny of moments.

I like to think that life is all the beautiful little moments. The flowers you pass, the streets you roam, the silly doodles in your sketchbooks . . . but this year has been so much more than little moments. It’s been adventure and excitement; vibrancy and passion. It’s been an explosion of big moments, of occasions and events and experiences and beauty and richness and vitality and . . . life. It’s been a year where I feltΒ alive.

I’ve been to festivals and seen my heroes live; I’ve sat and contemplated the world on rocks in the sea. I’ve visited countries more beautiful than I could ever imagine – been treated to places I never would have even turned my mind to. Laid on a beach under the stars with strangers at 3am, made friends in airports, danced in pools past midnight, had deep life conversations at parties, made new friends, treasured old ones, got lost, been found . . .

I’m so reluctant to see 18 go; terrified, really.

This has been the best year of my life – so far. Part of me is scared for the future; the tight-rope of responsibility and freedom I found myself walking at 18 one day will snap. Things like bills, rent, careers, savings and long-term prospects will need to be acknowledged . . .

But I’m excited too. In amongst the smaller details of the year, the less movie-montage memories have been setting the stage for what could be the rest of my life. I’ve sold a website – wait, for a moment, let’s acknowledge that in the entirety it deserves.

When I was going into this year, I remember having this paralyzing sense of fear. 18. It’s a significant number; a heavy one. The first year of my adult life. In many ways, I felt a sense of responsibility: you are now entering who you are going to be for the rest of your life.

I had this overwhelming sense of mortality; not of life, but of youth. Being an adult meant reality. It meant worrying about house prices and university and my future and safe choices and . . .

I don’t know. I’ve never by any means been a wild child, riding out my youth until it’s worn thin, but the reality of “real life” was – and is – scary.

My old site was almost a symbol of my youth. It was essentially an online diary for years; a collection of creativity that fuelled my passion and, actually, the rest of my life. A tiny, free website I started at 14 as a girl with a love for writing turned into this tiny business. At 17, through the experience gained on this site, I managed to get an apprenticeship and then a job and this year, just as I’d started my new site, someone bought my childhood website off me . . . funding an absolutely beautiful end of the year.

I’ve been lucky; I’ve been rewarded; I’ve been motivated and inspired. I’ve worked hard, I’ve played hard, I’ve met so many people and enjoyed so much . . . so maybe a thank you, instead of a summary.

Thank you to the people that have made this year so special, whether for a moment or a memory. This life is just a sum of moments; I am just a sum of parts. It’s the places we go and the people we meet that make us who we are; the entire fabric of this year was woven by you. Thank you to my friends, even the ones that got left behind: I am constantly learning from you. Constantly growing in your company. It’s a privilege to be on this journey through life with you, for however long we ride it together.

Thank you to my family. Everything may be taken for granted, but I promise you nothing is.

Thank you to the people I met for fractions of time; the people that danced with us into the early hours of the morning, the ones that ran for trains, chatted about books and almost got run over at a beach with us. I’m sure there’s a polaroid somewhere that simply cannot be explained.

Thank you to the people I’ll never speak to again; time spent, however short, is always treasured – and lessons need to be learnt.

Thank you to myself – having dreams can be hard – and chasing them can be harder. 3am coffee-fueled writing frenzies are decidedly less glamourous than “dream-chasing” implies . . . but I’m proud of you. And I’m glad you’re seeing the product of your hard work. Thank you for getting me here; it was hardly easy.

So maybe a promise? To me, to you, to all the people I’m yet to meet.

Hopefully, my years to come will be just as exciting and adventurous as 18 was. I can’t predict where life will take me, where life will take any of us, but I can promise this: I promise to remember this feeling. I promise to treasure this year in all its beauty, to appreciate it, and live all my years trying to find this feeling in what’s coming next.

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74 thoughts on “18. You Went By Too Soon.

  1. I love this soooo much! It is so inspiring. I am 19, almost 20, and I aspire to have some of the experiences you describe. I am excited about what the future holds and you are most definitely living life to the fullest! I hope you have the most amazing years. The future may be scary, ​but it holds so much excitement! Blessings! Xoxo

    Liked by 4 people

  2. This is such a beautiful insight coming from such a young brave soul such as you are, Mia!

    I wish you a happy birthday! May the New Year bless you profoundly and remember that 19 holds such wonderful things for you. πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Aaaah this was so…..beautiful. Omg happy birthday! You’re growing up so fast 😒 (proud grandma over here) In all seriousness though, I really hope you have a wonderful 19th year and all the years after that. Stay blessed gurl πŸ’•

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Happy birthday! Beautiful photos and dress. I hope you achieve all that you want. Considering what you have accomplished at 18, I think 19 will be even bigger. With all the added responsibility age brings, it gives you better wisdom. And it’s really cool that you started blogging at 14. x

    Liked by 2 people

  5. The things we fear literally are the things that turn out to be the greatest adventures and best and proudest moments of our life. Way to go beauty for living your dreams. You took on 2017 and you will conquer 2018. So proud of you!
    Also WHY?!?! Why do our muses feel the need to visit us at three in the friggin AM? Like all for getting creative, but do they not understand we need beauty sleep? Lol.
    Have a happy New Year!πŸ’—

    Liked by 2 people

    1. YES YES YES! I love that saying and it’s so goddamn true πŸ˜€ Thank you lovely – I hope so πŸ˜€ And omg right? Like yes I’d love to be inspired…..at like 10am, after an 8 hour sleep and breakfast, pls. Happy new year gorgeous! ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It really is! You are so welcome beauty! girl yes!!!! And coffee! I NEED coffee! But my muse does not understand that! (Shizzle I probably shouldn’t bitch to much since I need her! lol) Happy new Year to you beautiful! ❀

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      1. Whatever it is…. it most certainly is and will be. Gone the distance before so I like my chances. I love it that Axl and Slash have cited the media as being the main trouble makers in their rift. Fire up Cat Lady…. possibly soon to be Mad Cat Lady πŸ±πŸ±πŸ€£πŸ˜˜πŸ˜†

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  6. I can relate to this! I turned 19 this year and felt a lot of apprehension in regards to my future. It’s definitely been tough and a lot of adulting, but for the most part I’ve found 19 to be a good year!

    Liked by 3 people

  7. Mia, I loved this so much…so beautifully written! You’ve accomplished so much at 18, so much congrats on selling your website!!!
    19 will be even better for you, I can tell how hard you’re working to reach your dreams. πŸ’– Your hard work will pay off! You’re doing amazing, girl, you really are.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Wishing you a very happy birthday girl! Hope you have a wonderful day and so happy that this year was an amazing one of you! Great post as always and also wish you an even better 2018 with lots of happiness and love ❀ πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Happy birthday beautiful! I don’t know how you did it but managed to capture the exact feelings I felt this year leaving 18 too. 2017 sounded like an incredible year, and I’m sure 2018 is going to be even better for you. Reading this has honestly inspired me to live a little more next year, new year’s resolution done, cheers Mia xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Wow, I had no idea that you were only 18. (Well, 19 now!) I probably did read it here on your blog before and just forgot. You just seem so wise beyond your years, so I kept thinking you were older. I’m sure you’ll have many awesome memories to come.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Omg I’m sorry for my late reply, happy birthday beautiful human being! πŸŽΆπŸŒ πŸ’• I also always think of adult life and am scared and I’m 24 haha. Age is just a number. You are doing so many amazing things. Chase your dreams and follow your heart πŸ’• Love you so much. I wish to see you one day 🌠

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