I think lately I have felt myself growing up.
Not like freaky Friday or anything, just slowly. The way I think. The way I see. The way I process. A few times I have caught myself pondering something, and It feels like I am thinking about it differently. I feel myself growing up.
It’s little things. Its two years post grad, realizing that the world is as big or as small as I want it to be. My friends are growing up around me. They’re getting engaged, they’re getting married, they’re starting to have kids. Some of them are going back to school, getting promotions, new jobs, jobs the ‘them’ that I first met would be so proud of. Some of them are buying houses, some of them are traveling around the world, seeing things we always dreamed we would see together. Some of them are moving across the country. Some of them will soon be far away, they’re doing big things. I’m happy for them, I am proud of them. It makes me wonder what my next move will be. I feel myself growing up.
My best friend and I are going to be living together for our seventh year next year. We are staying in the same place we have lived this year. I am moving word strings in to the empty bedroom of my friend who will soon live hours away from me. Things are changing, yet things are staying the same. It’s like being pulled in two directions. I can’t wait to visit, but I am not yet ready to let go of the way things are, the way things will never again be. I feel myself clinging onto moments that will soon be missed. I feel myself growing up.
I bought a bistro table off of Facebook marketplace for our front porch last week. It’s so sweet. It’s white, and I bought some yellow flowers to set on it. Last night I ate dinner with my roommate outside on it. Dinner ran long, we talked for a few hours. We are both in long distance relationships, on a little different timelines, but still. We talked about what comes next, joking about if there will be a year eight living together, fantasizing about what cities we want to call home. We talked about salaries and going back to school, about what our one last year together would look like, about how far we have come since our first. It’s crazy how much someone can come to feel like home. I feel so much gratitude. I feel myself growing up.
My little sisters aren’t so little anymore. I get to visit them in the places they now call home, places that are too far from the hallway of mom and dad’s house that connected us by only a few paces. I get to visit them in the places too far away from the the double sink we shared that we always thought was too small for us– the double sink we all gather around to get ready at holidays now, the double sink that we would give anything to share again. I get to visit them, and never again will I live with them. I feel myself growing up.
I spend a lot of time on FaceTime, getting to know someone very important to me. We tell stories, we introduce each other to people from our pasts, retell formative memories we thought we would’ve shared by now, we describe our favorite places, that someday we swear we will take them. Last night, somehow, we started sharing childhood photos of a time when frolicking and bike rides and dress up and family birthday parties were what made up our weekends, not planning for the next time we would see each other. It puts a little bit of a pit in your stomach, when you see photos of your parents holding you at an age not too far from where you are right now. It’s not a bad pit, more of a new one. Makes you stop for a second, really weigh things out. I feel myself growing up.
And now, I have found a coffee shop that I can walk to from my house. It has a disco ball, a mason jar of flowers on the table, and lavender orange syrup for my coffee. Its been here the whole year I have lived here but I just found it. I am going on a walk tonight with my friends at sunset, friends, friends I didn’t know this time last year & in a place I didn’t know I would live this time last year. It reminds me that there are so many good things ahead that I don’t even know are meant for me yet. I feel warm sunlight on my shoulder as I sit at my computer in this coffee shop to write this extension of my heart. I feel myself growing up.
I feel myself growing up & I’m learning it happens a lot faster than you might think, but also not all at once. So from me to you– I’m learning things will work out and life will keep happening all around you, so let this serve as your reminder – just do what you love.
WOW! this hit home especially as a recent college grad! thanks for sharing your heart erika! we love it! 🏽
Erika! Your beautiful soul! I love you and your writing so much! Thank you for sharing your light with us! Don’t ever stop writing-your words are a gift that tug at people’s hearts!
Erika, I can’t love this enough! You have such a gift with words and such a pure heart. I keep having all those same heartwarming feelings, and it just makes me even more excited for the future! I can’t wait to see what you continue to do!