I'm pretty sure this girl, tired and confused and worn to the bone in Denver, Colorado, waiting for a plane to the other side of the country, knew that 22 wasn't going to be her year. If she didn't know it as she took this picture, she knew it when it turned midnight and she was uncontrollably crying in a bar that Ginsberg used to drink at with his friends.
Sometimes, particularly since coming back to a city that means too much to me, I strike off this year. Six months in, and it hasn't been particularly simple or easy or fun. The dips and dark days and stress and amount of time spent in the fetal position would certainly be enough to throw it all in and hibernate until graduation. But I can't and I won't and I wouldn't even if I could.
In the midst of everything, the mess, the tears, the loneliness, the anger, the situations that tangle themselves in knots with or without my doing (mostly with), there is good.
22 year old Sarah has been on adventure after adventure. And not the twee, Swallows and Amazon's style adventure, though I did finally get to swim in my beautiful river with my favourite people, but hard and heartbreaking and tiring and wild and incomprehensible adventure after adventure.
So far, since May 18th, I have traveled from San Francisco to Las Vegas to New York to Bethlehem to Atlantic City to Washington DC to Philadelphia to England. I have watched the most perfect human being as she was born into this world, been one of the first people to hold her, watched as she's learnt to smile, blow raspberries, laugh and make a whole delightful range of noises. And I get to squish her gorgeous chunky cheeks. I came home and learnt how to be happy at home and to appreciate the people there, to love my mother like she deserves to be loved, to talk to my brother like the man he is, to support and laugh and paint pots with squirming baby hands with my sister. I flew back to America. That was another adventure, but one I hold closer than the public space of this blog but which meant so much. I moved into an apartment on the other side of the (very small) city I had never seen before with people I had never met before and didn't completely shut myself in my room scared to talk to people, slowly I made friends. And more than ever I have realised that there are friends that will always, always be there.
And then there is this thing. This little secret that isn't a secret that I have been working on since I skyped Helen from a stolen sublet in June that's nearly ready. It's called I Speak My Truth and its scary and beautiful and powerful. And there's a space in that conversation for you, just you wait.
So 22. Half way through and often awful. But I'll make something of you yet. Because without realising it, I already have.