It feels like just yesterday I was rollerblading to the park with my older brother. Our hot summer days were filled with green grass and water guns, walking to the library to escape the heat because only the master bedroom had the luxury of air conditioning. Now, my most recent memories of summer are overtaken by nine-to-fives and lonely evenings, finding any which way to kill time because my friends are scattered all over the country, like seeds in the wind, chasing relationships and internships and careers.
Embarking on this journey of adulthood has been bittersweet. I’m excited to finally have a place to call my own, a life that I have truly created for myself. I’ve become a mother to five plants and a black cat named Huxley. Some nights, though, all I want is my mom’s cooking, to be thirteen again, with no bills and no real responsibilities. Some nights, I wish I could turn back time.
The theme of edition four is chrysalis. During the pupal stage of development, a caterpillar sheds its skin (several times) before being encased in a chrysalis, in which it undergoes metamorphosis. The body of the caterpillar dies, digesting itself from the inside out, and the remaining collection of cells is reborn as a butterfly. Despite its static appearance to the outside world, this is a time of rapid growth and change. We are all in an era of metamorphosis, of emerging from our chrysalises, either in the inception of true adulthood or simply as a result of this surreal climate of crisis and uncertainty. The world as I know it is changing faster than I can keep up with, yet I’ve got no choice but to keep going.
As I sink into my twenties and an inevitable quarter-life crisis, I reflect on my youth with perhaps an unwarranted romanticism. I know that my teenage years were plagued by depression and angst, and I’ve got an endless archive of journal entries to prove it. But looking back now, I can’t help but put on those notorious rose-colored glasses.
It’s not that I wish to be transported back to all those years ago, but rather that I have a greater appreciation for them now. I do love my twenties. I can now love the world; I can now love myself. But growing up is scary. As someone who finds solace in lists and schedules, the uncertainty of the rapidly approaching future, one that will almost certainly contain unprecedented change and loss and heartbreak, scares the shit out of me. But as we move forward, I think it’s equally as important to remember what’s behind us, what’s gotten us to this point. The friendships, the hardships, the love. We are raised by a village, then we become the village.
Published in Edition 4 of The Dilettante.