18 by Mia Compton-Engle












Adulthood. A thought so terrifying I can’t even begin to articulate my insecurity, let alone anticipate the implications of this integral transformation. Or, perhaps, worse – realize the resounding nothingness that will become of me when, on February 28, I join the likes of One Direction and embrace the loveliness of this eighteenth year. In the meantime, I can only reminisce about the sweeter simplicity of my childhood. In particular, I mourn the loss of:

  1. Leap day magic – lost and found around the world
  2. Imagination – make-believe songs, dances, and plays
  3. Creativity – writing and drawing to express (escape) myself
  4. Idle domesticity – warm gingersnaps, reading, daydreaming
  5. Daisy and Sparkle – fuzzy shadows
  6. Roots – growing support system of family and friends
  7. Neighborhood community – wandering aimlessly, worms squirming on rainy roads
  8. Shaker Heights – golden glow, passing time
  9. Learning – mind stretching, flexing, decompressing
  10. Devious escapades – *giggle giggle* within the sphere of safety
  11. Blissful ignorance – comfortable circumference, feathered hope
  12. Sweet tunes – any moment becomes transcendent
  13. Outdoors adventures – exploring and expanding
  14. Running – when my soul would sing
  15. Falling in love with my surroundings
  16. Companionable silence – casual intimacy, thoughts shared yet unspoken
  17. Coming-of-age angst – existential crises and whatnot
  18. An ordinary day – blurry snapshots of falling with the sun-speckled snow, connecting with others, Felice mac & cheese in a faded room, chasing sunset and stars along the lakeshore, and surrendering to sleep

Yet there need not be such growing pains. I am the same me, albeit (I should hope) a little bit older and wiser, and though soon I will be an adult, I intend to cherish the world with childlike wonder still. And someday, I will reflect upon my eighteenth year with the very adolescent nostalgia I experience now. 

3 thoughts on “18 by Mia Compton-Engle

  1. Happy 18th birthday and welcome to adulthood! It’s really not so scary, and you will still get to be creative, have a neighborhood community, and lots of other perks. I swear. 🙂

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