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 felt 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.

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

  1. Happy 19th…! Wonderful reflective post…! You are a phenomenal writer by the way…!

    1. Thank you so much lovely! That’s such a great compliment to recieve 😀 x

  2. paulliverstravels – I like visiting other countries, reading and writing, playing chess and cards, and lifting weights. Computers give me ulcers but I'm struggling with social media anyway.
    paulliverstravels says:

    The next time you are afraid of your choices, remind yourself that very few choices are permanent, even if social media won’t let us forget them.

  3. This was truly a lovely post. 18 is probably one of the most monumental and memorable years of one’s life and it sounds like you did that justice. Wishing you all the best for the next year!

    1. Thank you so much lovely. And exactly – when I was going into it, that precise reasoning scared me so much. But it was definitely memorable and I’ve loved being 18. Thank you so much lovely! x

    1. Thank you so much lovely, I really appreciate that! xxx

  4. Lamoois – Lamoois is een lifestyle magazine voor iedere vrouw, ongeachte afkomst of cultuur. Elke dinsdag & donderdag om 06.00 uur, staat er een nieuwe artikel online. Veel lees plezier!
    Lamoois says:

    Happy birthday girl!!

  5. Sharon Peters – ‘Sincerely, Sharon’ is a lifestyle curated blog by S H A R O N P E T E. -A twenty-something year old Nigerian obsessed with living life on her own terms in the best way possible. If she’s not creating content for this blog, she’s somewhere experiencing life or dancing naked to weird songs. Her sincerity in sharing, her zest for life and the fearless desire to create a life of her own are the themes of this blog. For Collabs/Enquiries reach her -Shandrose@yahoo.com
    heartsinink says:

    Oh my sweet Mia!!! You would have the best year, ahead! Happy birthday and we adore youuu

    1. My heart totally just melted – thank you so much beautiful!! <3

  6. growingthroughsomething – I am a college student who aspires to strengthen my relationship with God through writing experts about my personal adventures. I am experiencing all of His love, gaining a deeper understanding of my purpose, and finding more depth behind the reasonings for each and every moment in which God blesses me. "He must become greater; I must become less" ~ John 3:30
    growingthroughsomething says:

    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

    1. Thank you lovely! I hipe you have all the experiences the world could possibly offer you! Happy New Year!xxx

  7. I hope nineteen brings many new beginnigns for you girly!

  8. 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.

    1. Aww thank you so much lovely girl that means a lot! <3

    1. Thank you so much gorgeous! I hope you had a fantastic New Years Eve <3

    1. Thank you lovely lady! I have faith! 😀

  9. SimpleSerenity – My name is Azra, welcome to my blog SimpleSerenity. I'm from Bosnia and Herzegovina, 24 years old chemical engineering student that works as a beauty journalist. I hope you'll enjoy spending time on my blog and enjoy my content. It would mean a world to me if you would subscribe and leave me any feedback that you have! If you want to ask me something you can email me at simple_serenity@outlook.com.
    SimpleSerenity says:

    You look lovely in every single photo. Happy B day girl, have a awesome one. xx

  10. Bayance – Canada – If you're here, that means I liked/commented on your post which means you're awesome and I love your blogs...or you just clicked on my Gravatar for no reason. Anyways, you know what else is awesome? My blog! -> www.bayance.wordpress.com Lol just kidding it's terrible but check it out anyways. And follow me if you want but it'll only take a second. Plus, you're only going to get a notification that I uploaded thrice - is thrice even a word?- a week. So what are you waiting for? Go now! Okay I sound like a commercial. See you around. Bayyy.
    Bayance says:

    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

    1. AWWWW thank you so much lovely! I am growing up too fast…getting old :'( I hope 2018 is AMAZING for you! <3

  11. This is lovely, but 18 is all fun and games but 19 you grow as a person and life will throw it your way for sure! Don’t worry were all on this long ride but hope you have a happy new year!xxx

    1. Oh god that’s worrying! Thanks lovely – hope your 2018 goes great! xxxx

    1. Girl, inspiration never strikes at convenient times does it? :'( And thank you! Hope your 2018 is filled with love, life and success! <3

  12. Style of Laura Jane – The Style of Laura Jane is a thought-provoking dating and relationship site for you to read, learn, laugh at my experiences and explore less conventional perspectives. If you enjoy think-pieces, confessions without a side of sugar and sarcastic (though truthful) dating advice, you've stumbled upon the right place.
    The Style of Laura Jane says:

    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

    1. Thank you so much lovely! (The dress was from Missguided; I’m not sure if it’s in stock anymore) And I hope so 😀 Thank you! x

  13. Donald McKenzie – About Donald the Priest A priest in the Diocese of Rupert’s Land. Currently serving as Priest at Holy Trinity Anglican Church, Winnipeg About Dining With Donald This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food. I can be found on Twitter as @anglibubs.
    Donald McKenzie says:

    Happy New year. Hope you have many great experiences at 19.

  14. K.M. Sutton – I am a country girl living on the Upper East Side of the concrete jungle. My friends call me a modern day Renaissance woman. I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, from being a yoga instructor to holistic chef, to skating coach, to glorified nanny, to student. I am a self admitted coffee junkie. A wannabe mermaid. A wanderluster who dreams of other countries. A fashionista who really does need a bigger bank account. But most important of all, I dream of living in a bungalow by the ocean and being a published writer (in style of course) sipping coffee in the morning and a martini in the evening. I love to meet my readers, so feel free to comment or email me. Happy reading!
    K.M. Sutton says:

    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!

    1. YES YES YES! I love that saying and it’s so goddamn true 😀 Thank you lovely – I hope so 😀 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! <3

      1. K.M. Sutton – I am a country girl living on the Upper East Side of the concrete jungle. My friends call me a modern day Renaissance woman. I have dabbled in a little bit of everything, from being a yoga instructor to holistic chef, to skating coach, to glorified nanny, to student. I am a self admitted coffee junkie. A wannabe mermaid. A wanderluster who dreams of other countries. A fashionista who really does need a bigger bank account. But most important of all, I dream of living in a bungalow by the ocean and being a published writer (in style of course) sipping coffee in the morning and a martini in the evening. I love to meet my readers, so feel free to comment or email me. Happy reading!
        K.M. Sutton says:

        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! <3

    1. Thank you! I hope 2018 is amazing for you 🙂

      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

  15. 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!

    1. Damn…I’ve been trying to avoid the adulting x_x but I’m glad to know 19 was good for you! I hope 2018 is a wonderful year for you lovely x

      1. Yeah… there comes a point when you can’t avoid it anymore! Aw thanks! You too x

  16. 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. Your hard work will pay off! You’re doing amazing, girl, you really are.

    1. Thank you so so much, that means a lot! (Especially coming from you; you’re a blogger – and person – I really admire.) I hope 2018 brings amazing things for you! <3

      1. Aww. <3 Really?! I never thought of myself as admirable!! You are so sweet. <3 Thank you so much, love!!!

  17. 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 <3 🙂

    1. Thank you beautiful! I hope 2018 is full of blessings for you <3

  18. 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

    1. Aww I’m glad! Nostalgia’s kicked in already man ;-; And THANK YOU SO MUCH GORGEOUS GIRL <3 I'm so glad I could help you set a resolution – now go out and kick 2018's ass xxxx

  19. 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.

    1. Aha thank you, I take that as a massive compliment 🙂 I certainly hope so! Wishing you a fantastic New Year x

  20. Happy birthday, don’t worry I’m 22 if anything your youth lives on a lot longer these days because your not expected to move out till way way later now! Still time to be a wild child!

    1. That’s a great point! I hope you have a good 2018 <3

  21. ektabasu – india – You are the most beautiful person I have ever seen in my life!..that is me every time I walk past a mirror.This is Ekta Basu and for me fashion is not just a piece of cloth but an emotion.
    ektabasu says:

    Such a beautiful post love..wish u a vry happy birthday and a lovely 2018..

    It would be a grt pleasure if u could jst visit my post and give ur opinion

    https://www.facebook.com/Fashion.peopleandplaces/

  22. Rossy Galaxy – Pacific Northwest – I'm a full-time SAHM to an energetic 5 year old boy and I'm married to my best friend. / / I love makeup, photography and cars.
    ayrgalaxy says:

    Happy belated birthday! You’re as deserving of everything you’ve experienced and gained this year. I hope 2018 treats you even more fabulously! 🙂

  23. Omg I’m sorry for my late reply, happy birthday beautiful human being! 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 Love you so much. I wish to see you one day

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