“You’re not gonna make it to 18,” she said.

Tomorrow, well in about ten and a half hours, I will be 18 years old. I will be considered legally an adult, no longer a child. Not that it matters much because I feel that I will always embrace the child in me; it’s how I am and always will be. I was scared, yesterday, last week, last month, because of all the things I thought I hadn’t got to experience. I’ve been feeling like my senior year is slowly slipping away from me as I’m trapped under all this work and all my (extremely time-consuming) commitments. I tell myself every week that I’ll get to spend some time with my friends, especially those I haven’t seen in months. It never happens and yes, it’s a mood-dampener… one could say my mood has been sopping wet for the last few months. (The new boyfriend might have something to do with this, but I definitely don’t blame him because he’s the best thing that’s happened to me this year.) All this moisture is from missing my friends, but what happens when I begin to miss my childhood? Will my mood just drown in a deep puddle of depression like most, if not all, of the adults I know who, it seems, are constantly mourning the loss? No. Not I.

I am proud of the things I have accomplished; this year, the last 17 of them, it has all been great fun. I’ve done 50% of the things people are not legally allowed to do until they turn 17.
 1. Go to a rated-R movie without an adult over 21 present.
 2. Be tried as an adult in court.

Thankfully, the 50% of things I can say I’ve done legally as a 17-year-old does not include the second item on the aforementioned list. I probably wouldn’t have made it to 18, as my mom predicted, because she would have killed me.

I think 18 brings about another list of new things to do. I won’t do all of them right away, but I want to make sure I do all of them by the time I’m 19. Wow, 19. I don’t even want to think about that number yet. Here are the things I can (not necessarily will) do before that happens.

  • Vote
  • Open a checking account
  • Stay out after 11 p.m.
  • Get a tattoo/piercing
  • Be drafted/enlist into the military
  • Serve on a jury (It sounds so fun, I don’t know why grown-ups dread it so much.)
  • File a lawsuit/be sued
  • Change your name
  • Buy spray paint
  • Work more hours
  • Go clubbing
  • Pawn something
  • Get married/divorced
  • Be on Jerry Springer
  • Buy a lottery ticket
  • Get a hotel room
  • Get a Costco membership (Gee Whilakers… I don’t even know how to spell that.)
  • Skydive or go bungee jumping
  • Sign legal documents/contracts
  • Gamble
  • Secure a loan
  • Finance a car
  • Buy insurance
  • Earn credit
  • Buy porn
  • Buy cigarettes
  • Go to a hookah bar
  • Work in an alcohol-serving establishment
  • Apply for a business license
  • Apply for a credit card
  • Go to/work in a strip club (Remember, I said I wouldn’t be doing all of these.)
  • Enter a contest
  • Write a check
  • Get utilities in your name
  • Lease/buy an apartment or house
  • Cash a savings bond
  • Buy nitrous oxide (Umm… I don’t even know for what I would use this.)
  • Rent a post office box

That may be all of them, but it probably isn’t. (Thanks to

I like to think that I feel at least somewhat differently after a birthday, when in reality I’ll be the same person tomorrow that I am right now, writing this. After I’ve considered all the cool things I’ll get to do, as well as all the cool things I will appreciate being able to do without actually doing them, the only sad thing I can come up with about 18 is that it’s the beginning of the years that start to matter less and less individually. There will only be a “major” birthday every 10 years, except 21, and instead of being happy that I’m turning 28, I’ll be sad and tell people I’m turning 22… Hopefully I’ll still look like I’m six years younger than my actual age, like my friends say I look now. Thanks, friends; I’m 12.

I haven’t even considered how my parents might be feeling right now. I wonder if they’re as anxious as I am. Or are they nervous? Terrified? When I brought it up last week he told me to “cut that s*** out,” probably referring to my growing older. All I can say to them at this moment, especially to my mother, is:

Mom, I WILL, in fact, make it to 18! Thank you very much…

yellow dahlia

yellow dahlia