So it appears I am 18 today.
There are a great many things I might say about this particular revelation, but I think for now there is only this:
I'm grateful to be here. There have been times when I did not believe I would ever reach this birthday, & it feels like such a blessing just to still be breathing. Most days I yearn & yearn & yearn for more, most days I'm sure there is no way I could possibly be satisfied with anything less than a bright & burning legacy, but tonight I am happy to drink too much coffee, listen to the same playlists over & over, eat dinner with my baby sister, cuddle my dog, write mediocre poems, flirt with boys whose names I will not remember this time next year, worry about college applications & whether I am moisturising enough. Perhaps it is a paradox, but tonight, on this most important birthday, I'm happy just to be here. I'm happy keep my dreams small, manageable. Not so terrifying. Not so obviously out of my league.
Tonight I am sitting with my stubborn lungs, my softened ankles, reading local literature, incense burning & dog at my feet & monsoon rain singing at the windows, listening to the playback of my own memory. I am 18 today & for once I am sitting still & completely satisfied the thought of not being remembered.
This sort of quiet contentment feels foreign in my mouth, but I'm trying to to settle into it. I think I deserve peace.