Melancholy reflections on turning 21

My biggest fear is of not changing, of being trapped in a wheel of the same imperfections, caged in by my constant self doubt. Am I doing this right, am I growing, have I changed? That the people around me will become a montage of faces and voices orbiting me with the same self certified observations of my character. I want to break out, I want to blossom but I question whether I will ever bloom or if I’m just experiencing the promised meander of rising and falling, sprouting then shedding. Maybe that’s what it is -seasonal.

Like a long forgotten bottle of champagne I keep expecting that one day I’ll be found, dusted off and with every bit of momentum my cork will fly off giving way to a waterfall of cool soothing refreshment. I want to be opened, I want to be quenched.

Like a prisoner tallies his remaining days of confinement I long for the day of my release .But I fear I’ll grow accustomed to the cage, like its lines will become a permanent filter, that my yearning for emancipation will subside and I’ll grow to accept the brass bars that enclose and encapsulate me.

And yet at 21 I have a whole valley of time ahead of me. An infinity of hours to accomplish, to exculpate the feeling of being so unaccomplished. Maybe I can mute the presumptuous assertions of those who are foolish enough to believe that they know me. Maybe I’ll smudge the pristine lives of others and retire my efforts in trying to strain towards their insurmountable facade. Maybe my inner being will grow taller, tall enough to tower over my assigned capacity, and finer, fine enough for my branches to weave between the bars and out into the expansive air.

My hopes for 21 and the years thereafter, they waver but I resolve to nurture them. To cherish and caress myself. Making one clumsy decision at a time but caring less to commence the protocol of self interrogation, getting hot under the spotlight of meticulous scrutiny. How, where, when, why, what? To that I look you square in the eye and declare- “no comment”.

And somewhere folded beneath it all, if I tune carefully, I feel that I am (italicise I am) growing. It’s microscopic, incremental, but it’s there. Perhaps there are no bars, maybe I welded them in with a hard and heavy hammer, yet with softness they could vaporise.

It seems life’s clock has faithfully shifted another turn, but I stand solemn, being at long last acquitted of the confines of blamefulness. Whatever it be that the hand strikes next 1…2, 3…4, 4 and 3, 2 and 1. I am induced to believe that I am approximately liberated and partially grown at 20 and 1.

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