September 18, 2012

I turned 18 recently.

My birthday was lovely... I had several friends over to spend the night, and I celebrated becoming an adult by having a book-themed tea party. Everyone came in a costume and we ate so many desserts (everything from lembas bread, to Balin's (root)beer, to Turkish Delight, to the poison in Snow White's apple-- aka red Jello-- to Willy Wonka candy bars, complete with a ticket for the birthday girl, to cheesecake cupcakes which isn't from any book but tasted heavenly, to butterbeer and tea and biscuits from high tea from Jane Austen... and more... yes, it was YUM).

The lembas bread turned out wonderfully. The Turkish Delight... not so much.

I was a terrible host and made my friends help me cook. We even had a themed breakfast-- green eggs and ham (Green Eggs and Ham), blue pancakes (Percy Jackson), strawberries and cream (all British books), white grape juice (my favorite, which we were calling nectar and ambrosia, so it ties into Greek mythology, right?), and a pineapple with a bow (PSYCH! and it's a TARDIS blue bow!).

I pulled my first true all nighter, mostly watching movies like The Young Victoria and Inception but also just hanging out. We were so tired but still went out to go on a hike (and I went crazy with the camera. The picture above is one of my friends on the hike. The drought is over and flowers finally abound.)

Then I hung out at home doing nothing and having a blast. Weekend birthdays are the best.

On one hand, I feel (...somewhat) mature and 18 isn't such a big deal. On the other hand... HOLY COW I'M AN ADULT NOW?!

How it is possible to feel both far too old and far to young at the same time? Life is a perpetually perplexing paradox. (And apparently I appreciate alliteration!).

Whose idea was it to say that you are a grownup when you are 18? I don't feel like an adult. Sure, I can take care of myself and I'm fairly responsible, mature, yada yada bingle bongle dingle dangle yickedy do, yickedy da, ping pong, lippy tappy too taa. (Did you catch the reference? Anyone?)

But at the same time, I feel so young, untested, inadequate, and unprepared. I suppose everyone, even the most grownup of grownups, must feel that way sometimes. I think it's more of a human thing than purely an age thing.

Just a moment after that thought crosses my mind, it strikes me that I have been alive for more than 567,710,208 seconds. Then I get that same eerie feeling that I always have when I hear stories about prodigies, see an impressive piece of art, read an amazing book, meet someone who is completely driven with love, learn about a saint, or merely think about the freakishly amazing things than people think of-- namely, what in the world have I been doing with my life?! 

I'm a few hundred million seconds old. How many of those seconds have I wasted? How many opportunities to love, to pray, to learn, to create, have I passed over? How many times have I ignored God and veered my life off track and squandered these precious seconds?  

Being an adult is a wonderful thing. My family has helped me wonderfully and my parents have prepared me for this time. I feel so young and unready but I do know I can totally manage it. But although in the next few years I will be leaving home and beginning new journeys, I don't ever want to grow up.

There is a difference between being an adult due to age and maturity and being a grownup because you've forgotten how to be a kid. I can't imagine how dull it is to be one of those thousands of people who have lost their sense of wonder and joy. Little kids have a true gift because every little thing excites them. Everything from the rich crisp color of an apple to the hum of the washing machine to the taste of cerulean wind to the way that fingers move is a miracle to them.

This post is brought to you by a slighty very goofy young adult Shaylynn, who is not in an unusually philosophical mood. (I actually think about stuff like this all the time, I just feel silly trying to put it into words, and just feel silly in general). This Shaylynn also decided to take self-portraits because 1) being the photographer of the family, she had no good pictures of herself and 2) she wanted to mess with camera settings and see if the self-timer would let the camera focus properly. As the picture to the right proves, the self-timer sometimes went off before expected... She also took these pictures after a birthday all-nighter and forgot to put on makeup and is vaugely wondering why she is allowing herself to post these pictures on her blog. She's also writing this right at bedtime which should account for all the rambling. She's also writing in third person. She's also commenting on the obvious. She's also commenting on the obvious. She's also commenting on the obvious. (Cue infinite loop).

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  1. my dear, you are beautiful without makeup!
    and I'm so glad you had a good birthday :)

  2. Getting older...scary thought indeed. I love how you have lembas and how, in the words of Steve Rogers, I understood that reference. ;D
    And did you know you have lovely hands?


  3. Oh dear, Nessima stole my line! :P haha, it excites me when I understand obscure(ish) references...especially ones for Doctor Who and Psych!

    Happy birthday! It looks like you had a very enviable day.(; and I totally understand that feeling of being older, but also so young! Sometimes it astonishes me. :P ooh, and Kenna's bread would be amazing for The Hobbit premiere...if I can just convince someone to see it with me at midnight!
    By the way, I love that first picture of you! It looks so neat!


  4. HaPPY BIrthdAY SHAYLYNN! haha you crack me up!

  5. What a fun Birthday...I loved the pineapple. *Grin* Oh, and the Lembas was awesome!
    And might I add that I really love your glasses? :)
    Happy Birthday!

  6. You, my dear, are beautiful. Absolutely stunning. Don't worry, everybody feels that way--I know I do, anyway, and I've been an "adult" for almost a year now.
    May I have your Lembas bread recipe? Did you like it? Did it FEEL like Lembas? (Not physically, you know. Just that none of the recipes I've seen have seemed quite right.)
    And oh yes, before I'd even consciously recognized the reference I was reading it in his voice. :)
    Love you, girlie! And happy birthday, however long ago it was.

  7. Happy belated Birthday to a WONDERFUL young woman! It sounds like you had a fantastic day - if only every birthday I've ever had was just as fun, lol! May you have many, many more!


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