16 wishes (more or less)

Nov 16th 2021 @ 11pm

Hello everyone.

As I’m typing this it is currently 11 PM and I am sitting on my bed with the giant Mac desktop computer awkwardly being supported by my leg. Even though I am subjecting myself to a terrible time of getting up in the morning, it feels important to jot down some current thoughts.


Because; I’m a storyteller, I document things, people, places, and moments so I remember them later on... and I want to remember right now.

I’m turning 16 in exactly 12 days, and I’m leaving for a birthday trip in exactly one week, I am quite excited to be turning 16, and in moments it feels unreal, literally.

I’ve been trying for days now to write my 16th birthday recap blog post, but it just hasn’t been happening (which is unusual for me as words often come easy).

My mind has mostly been on getting my license. This evening I had a moment where I was stopped with the thought that mostly we just move through the days without taking stock of our life. But then something pulls you out of the daily and you realize time has been passing without you marking it. And you have a moment that wakes you up to the reality that years have passed and you are turning 16. We are never frozen in time, we are always changing, growing, a constant force of flux.

Remember when you prided yourself on knowing the entire rap to "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift but you never sang it because she said "what the hell", but one day you're driving with your friends, the song comes on and you sing the whole rap through? Or, how you

about you are shopping through the grocery store and see your favorite Tiger Milk bars you forgot existed until you remember they were your favorite at age 10. Sometimes it comes in the form of watching a tv show about a girl in college and just having a small realization in the back of your mind, "oh that will be me in two years", but you push it away and forget. Later you go into the dining room for dinner with your family and gaze a little longer at the familiar scene that will one day fade from your daily.

Maybe those examples are non-universal but we all have those moments that wake us up that we are indeed growing up. Even if we chose to ignore the inevitable that things will change, we are always in flux.

Imagine if on your 10th birthday your parents sat you down and said let's watch this slideshow together. (no, this isn't a beautiful birthday tribute your mom put together).

First slide:

Now that you are 11, your life is going to get a lot harder, more stressful, and you might even get this thing called anxiety. You're also going to not realize how quickly time is passing and how much your life is changing... HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!

"Richard next slide please." (yes, Richard is my imaginary PowerPoint manager)

Since it is your birthday, after all, we wish we could tell you how to manage your anxiety, fear, drama, stress, change, and overall hard life but WE CAN'T (cue the confetti) because the thing is, no one truly knows how to manage all those things.

I can feel the birthday vibe dampening- "Richarddddddd-slide!"

So get ready to have a life filled with fear, worry, and stress. Also remember, nothing EVER stays the same, so have fun managing it all on your own... it's going to be a wild ride!!

What a slideshow, am I right? But it's the truth. At some point in your life (for me it was about 11) you go to bed one night, asleep on a rainbow and you wake up in a living storm of fear, worry, stress, and change. Better yet, there's no one to tell you how to manage it.

The hard part of growing up is you start to experience feelings you never felt before and life doesn't feel as simple. No one can tell you the step-by-step guide to get through it all. You realize the feelings are here to stay and you get used to a new kind of life. For me, when I realized anxiety was here to stay, I had adapted to a new normal and learned my new limits, and also learn who I wanted to surround myself with.

Remember that Barbie you got for your 10th birthday? Well chances are, your anxiety won’t be like that old Barbie, hidden away in a box without an arm, head, or pants. Your anxiety is here to stay.

Let’s fast-forward time to your 13th birthday now... can you see where this is going?

Richard comes (awww, he's married now, congrats Richard!), the PowerPoint machine starts whirring, your parents sit you down. Now, you are an acne-faced teen, dressed head to toe in Abercrombie. The lights dim.

“Do you ever feel totally alone, like your surrounded by 100 people but you feel like the only one there?”

“Do you ever think to yourself about the ‘good ole days' that were just last year?”

”Do you ever question your worth or ignore the change happening around you?”

Another year, another depressing PowerPoint. Is this gonna be an annual thing? You'll have new problems every year, so a new slide shows every year until you die?

Change is constant whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, We move through life daily with new problems, emotions, and experiences. A lot of times, I along with others, tend to focus on the negative side of change and the worry and fear emotions. But along with change actually comes good. Ultimately acknowledging the change is helpful because you aren't suppressing feelings, you are able to make moments count because you realize they won't last.

If I had 16 wishes (more or less) I would wish for some usual things (pass my driver's test, get a free trip to Europe, etc.) but I would also wish to not be so afraid of change. I don't consider myself "afraid" of change in the traditional sense, but more and more I'm starting to realize how I do suppress certain changes that are coming more rapidly than I choose to acknowledge.

Moving forward I'm going to try and not be as blind to the changes happening in my life every day, I am starting to realize the benefits of watching change take place, and knowing me ill be back to write some more on my changing life.

Nov 27th 2021 In San Fransisco

It is my 16th birthday and I am currently writing this from Union Square in San Fransisco. Exactly 10 years ago, for my 7th birthday, I was in Union Square to celebrate with my family. Exactly where I am today.

As a continuation of this long blog birthday post, I'm going to end it here by saying;

Live in the moment, BE PRESENT, and enjoy where you are RIGHT NOW.

but also

Don't be afraid of the change that's inevitable, DON'T FORGET THE THINGS (you want to remember) THAT WILL CHANGE, change is inevitable and we are ALWAYS in flux, so don't let life fly by.

H&K, dev