There’s much to look back on before I go forward, but I’ll try not to get ahead of myself. Twenty scares me, but this isn’t twenty. Only the precursor. But, let’s stick to nineteen. After all, one more year left to make the most of teenagehood, I suppose. And hopefully, only this weekend for my immune system to deal the final blow to my cold. Weather’s changing, it’s everything-season, and with all the precaution I took, this is simply out of my hands. Much like the calendar becoming the fourteenth of October.

Looking back at prior entries, fifteen and sixteen reminds me of my innocence. With the backdrop of high school, and the small feelings of having myself against the world. Only to know now that it was just myself against the microcosm of what felt like the entire world at the time. Seventeen marked growth within my self-esteem, valuing myself in the way others see me. A theme still echoed throughout my teenagehood, especially as I continue to navigate new spaces in college. Putting myself against myself at times, putting myself against those I shouldn’t. But there are people who continue to remind me I am loved, there is myself to remind me of my value. Eighteen brought me into new friendships and diverse support systems.

Over the summer, I passed my driver’s exam. Engaged in introspection throughout my time in Europe and at home. Moved into an apartment by campus, and continued the job of a tour-guide. Marinating my own chicken, writing a check to pay for rent. Supporting the clubs that sell Spam Musubi, and giving tennis another go. The adult continues to adult. The older I become, I realize how small I am in contrast to the world and others. With an extra emphasis on how the smallest things keep me going, and keep a routine going. A stark contrast from last year’s everywhere-ness.

Today, there was a mixture of friends dropping things off, running erands for me. After all, I could not appear to lectures for a majority of this week. And in the middle, confirmation that I have the common cold. Making the midnight 12am at-home test a little less dramatic than it was. Once I found out it wasn’t anything worse, I headed to the store for cough-syrup and more electrolytes. The day was slightly off and gloomy, but it felt so nice to be out of the house after small isolation. Afterwards, family friends and I were okay with taking a walk by campus. Throughout the day, notifications buzzed. Greetings exchanged. The night ended with dumplings and boba.

There’s no adulthood checklist, let alone an actual guide to navigating whatever lies ahead in the future. But I embrace nineteen, and I look forward to twenty knowing there will still be a lot of trial, error, and thankfully enough to keep myself going.