If you told a 14 year old me that I was sad and scared about graduating, she would laugh. Knowing so little about what lay ahead of her, she welcomed the possibility of growing up. She had dreams of her first date, her first kiss, her first car. She had faith in the world and believed the world had faith in her.
While I did get to experience a lot of my firsts, they did not live up to my expectations. My first “date” was during the height of the pandemic, and honestly just extremely awkward. My first kiss was in the back row of a movie theater, but I didn’t even like the boy. Don’t even get me started with the car.
I obviously know life is not a movie and reality will never play out as it did in my dreams. I think, however, that dreaming is a sign of optimism — something that I have lost somewhere along my journey.
Some may argue that, by surrounding myself with remnants of my past, I am failing to let go. From my perspective, it doesn’t always mean that. My pictures and memories as a reminder that I am capable of finding optimism again. They show that there is light in this world, and although I cannot feel it now, it exists.
As I move on to my next chapter of life, I hope that these reminders are always with me because hope can carry a person far.