Tomorrow I will turn sixteen. No, scratch that. In approximately twenty-four hours, I will turn sixteen. I like to count down to the very minute, the very second. Only then am I sixteen, really. It’s a sort of lying otherwise.
I wasn’t originally going to write this post, but then the Harry Potter films came on on the TV and somehow I ended up sitting down in this chair to write for the last time as a fifteen-year-old.
Sixteen seems like something that should not be happening tomorrow. All my life, sixteen was something grown-up, something very adult and mature and something that stands for everything I dislike. I don’t want a big party. Or a cake (I don’t really like cake). I don’t want a car. I mean, I can’t even drive yet. (Yay for five AP classes!) And please, don’t say the phrase “sweet sixteen,” within five meters of me. Sixteen was something I Wasn’t Yet. And now (or in twenty-four hours, at least), I suddenly will be.
I don’t want to be sixteen. Not just yet. I’m not ready, you see. Sixteen was my deadline birthday. Sixteen was the year I’d like to have a novel published by (I haven’t even got a decent one written, really). Sixteen was the year that I would, I don’t know, be the same age Harry Potter was when Dumbledore died and the Wizarding World really found out that Voldemort was back. I don’t know. I’ve always looked up to these fictional characters of my childhood as older than me. And now it’s odd to think that even though they’re technically still aging (I think Harry just turned 36!), they will soon be forever immortalized as younger than me.
It’s odd to think that I’m starting to enter the higher ages, the adult ages, the ages that are your final years leading up to college. It’s odd that this will probably be the last blog post I will ever write as, essentially, a child.
I don’t know, I guess. Sixteen is just such an odd age to think about. Sixteen was the age Katniss was when her sister’s name was drawn in the Reaping. Sixteen was the age of every character in every Disney movie. Sixteen was an age that was Older. Sixteen, that sixteen, was an age that just wasn’t close for me. I guess I always just assumed that when I turned sixteen, it would be a different sixteen from Harry’s sixteen, or Katniss’s sixteen, or every person in the universe’s sixteen. But it turns out that life doesn’t work that way and my sixteen is everyone else’s sixteen, pure and simple.
I’m probably not making much sense right now. And I don’t think I have to. I guess, in a way, this is a letter to the universe. A last record of my thoughts at fifteen. A last record of what I think it will be like to be sixteen and not actually being sixteen.
Because tomorrow, and it’s odd to think that it’s tomorrow, I’m going to wake up and the universe is going to think I am sixteen, because they don’t understand I won’t be sixteen for another twelve hours.
Well, universe, I’m telling you this: push it off a little. You can do that, can’t you? Keep me fifteen for, oh, I don’t know, another few hours? Another year? It doesn’t really matter how long in my mind. It just has to be long enough for me to get everything done.
Everything that I told myself I’d do by the time I was sixteen. Everything that, in twenty-four hours, I won’t have lived up to doing.
In twenty-four hours, I will be sixteen years old.
Do me a favor, universe, something small, something that won’t really matter, in the long run. Just stop time for me.