i am no bird... (or hello, senior year)

by - 8/21/2017

I sat down to write this post and I didn't quite know what I was going to say. Something inspiring, probably. Something beautiful and profound and heartfelt. Probably gifs. Probably screaming about life. And who knows, that may still be in there. But this is just rambling, me going in without a plan or a topic, and I'm going to see where it goes. nothing could go wrong with this plan. 

Right now it's Sunday, the night before I post this. Tomorrow is another day of work and another day of karate and another day of worry but it's also the start of my senior year of high school, a year I've been waiting for ever since I knew what high school was and began to face the horrors of years of grades and schooling and pesky education. It's the beginning of the last year of a chapter in my life that I never expected, somehow, to grow out of, a chapter in my life in which I'm comfortable and safe. I've started to figure this life thing out. I've started to figure out driving, and job, and money, and being an older teenager, etc. 

So now I'm standing on the edge, right? Looking down at being a "grown up" and moving on from formal schooling and pursuing an actual life and career. Looking down at being able to live on my own, travel, have all the nice things that come with being 18 and an Official Adult Who Can Do Stuff Now. (this freedom is terrifying. i went to an r-rated movie by myself the other day and NO ONE STOPPED ME.)

I'm frickin' terrified of this edge. 

Terrified, and at the same time, on this Sunday night, I'm not feeling anything in particular. It being Sunday night and a Sunday night on the edge...I might feel it later. I'm expecting to feel it later. I was pretty sure that by now I'd be freaking out and melting down. After all, I have a senior year ahead of me, and I haven't even looked at my lesson plans, or prepped any school stuff. I don't know what I'm going to start with. I haven't planned out my week of school. I don't know anything. Feeling calm, collected, and even happy in this moment feels a little bit like that moment when you bang your shin against something and you're just waiting for the pain to kick in, knowing it'll be there in a second. 

I feel as though I should find a gif to describe this moment. Hold on, while I spontaneously look through my files. 
there. leslie knope to the rescue.
Today, on this Sunday before I start to drop off the edge, I drove my new car (oh yeah that's a thing) to church. I hung out with my little sister. I made beach plans with my family. I sat on the couch and hand-fed a very large bearded dragon while he sat on my shoulder. I finished reading Jane Eyre, furiously scribbling in my effort to underline passages I loved and in the process inking up both the entire page and my hand. I drank a Mountain Dew, which I just now finished, and I listened to Sleeping at Last and AWOLNATION because I'm nothing if not diverse, and right now I'm sitting on my bed with this blog post, waiting for my laundry to get out of the dryer and still feeling calm.

I lived life, with the knowledge of what's going to begin tomorrow, and I was okay with it. 

So that's kind of cool, I guess. 

You don't know 2016 Aimee very well, not really, even if you kept up to date with my previous blog. You don't know that she was crippled by anxiety and fear and doubts and the constant ticking timer in her head. You don't know that she couldn't touch paper towels or sand or anything because she'd be curled up in a ball for the rest of the day if she so much as wore the wrong socks. You don't know about all the stuff that went on in her head then, and trust me, you don't want to know, because it was messy, y'all. Looking back at that, 2016 Aimee would have crumbled here. She'd be a heap on her bed trying to breathe through the uncertainty and the lack of planning and the knowledge that the future is coming on too fast and she doesn't know what to do. There's some of 2016 Aimee in me right now. 

But it's not ruling me. It's not taking over. I can breathe in and out through totally clear lungs and think about the steps I'm going to take, one at a time. I'll  be overwhelmed later, I'm sure. I'll question all my future decisions. I'll burn all my schoolwork in a massive bonfire and run away to become a hermit.  For now, though, I'm actually happy with living and functioning, and that's an incredible thing. 

I don't know what's going to happen this senior year. I don't know if it's going to drag on as I anticipate moving on to "grown up life" or if it's going to fly by so fast I get whiplash and don't know how to deal. But I do know that I have plans in the future, and exciting things I want to do, and I'm not going to worry about those things right now. I'm going to take little steps, one step at a time. 

So tomorrow I'll do some schoolwork. 

I'll release the next episode of my podcast. You will all be excited about my podcast. 

And I'll work my shift. 

And I'll hug my little sister. 

And I'll probably feed a dead/thawed mouse to my snake because I'm a monster. 

And I'll go to karate, where I'm now a green belt, knowing things are going to get tougher and I'm not yet ready for them. 

Who knows, I might even get some writing done. 

And then I'll keep going. 

You'll be updated on my life, I'm sure, as it unfolds and I start to figure out what the heck is going on. If you're along for the ride. If not...that's your life, go live it, I don't give a care. 

On a lighter note...I just finished Jane Eyre! I took a week to read it and I'm so glad I did. What an inspiration going in to this new school year of things -- what a reminder to keep on going no matter what, to be fiery and passionate and determined and loving and good in the face of uncertain things, to put one foot in front of the other, to be true to yourself, to go forward boldly. 

Here are some pictures of me and also sunflowers. 


- Aimee

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  1. Hey Aimee, I just wanted to say thank you for all your thoughtful posts. I'm going through a similar transition period as I'm starting my freshman year of college next week *screams into pillow*, and you inspire me to live in the moment instead of worrying about what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day, and to listen to twenty one pilots always, and try to be creative even amid the stress, and to remember that life is pretty cool even though it doesn't always feel like it in the moment. Blessings on your senior year; I'm sure you'll rock it fren.

    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad you're encouraged. *hugs* <3

  2. This post was kind of really relatable. I feel like I should be stressed about my senior year, but...I haven't really felt much of it actually kick in yet. I know that it will — it's like the calm before the storm — but right now, I'm just being happy with life.

    1. Yeah, it's a little bit surreal still, and I'm not quite sure how to deal with that, lol.

  3. That's great, Aimee! There's a graph floating around out there (not sure if you've seen it but you probably have because you're an internet queen) that shows recovery: it's spiky, with lots of ups and downs, but still trends steadily upward. Things might be weird and confusing, but you're still on an uphill road.

    Also Jane is the besttttt

    1. Ugh, I'm so impatient with the whole recovery thing. But WE'LL GET THERE.

  4. For the past three years, I've thought a lot about what senior year would feel like. And now, like you, with senior year starting in a couple of days, it's weird, because it's nothing I thought it would be. But I'm not nervous, which is surprising. I thought I'd be scared out of my mind (which I mean...yeah adulthood and future and everything is a beast to think about), but the thought of actually facing senior year isn't nerve wracking like I thought it would be. Maybe that's just part of growing up? Or maybe it will just kick in later. I don't know.

    Still wanting to start up that Rochester fan club. Dangit Aimee, now you have me wanting to reread Jane Eyre again. xD I think I've read it four times? Pretty sure it's time for a fifth.

    Also, can I just say how proud I am of you? Like, just hearing how far you've come is so incredible. I am so, so proud of you. Keep fighting, friend. There are such incredible things in store for you.

    Let's rock senior year, shall we?

  5. I loved Jane Eyre!

    I believe you are going to rock this year!

    The podcast is fantastic by the way.

  6. Thanks for this wonderful post. I'm so glad you're moving uphill and living life, however much you may have to fight to do so. I hope this last year of high school is amazing for you! That was last year for me, but I'm still on a precipice since it's my first semester of college. I'm not breaking down yet. My senior year was really difficult and mentally/emotionally taxing because of reasons, and I feel like all that chaos sort of helped prepare me for this transition, you know? It'll still be hard to face all the new people and classes and jobs, but I've gotten through objectively harder things, so I think I'm able to work around the anxiety a little better now. Maybe not. Who knows.
    Loving Bright Eyes, by the way. And YES, Jane Eyre.

    1. Ahhh I believe in you! You can rock that college.

  7. Thanks for being so open with all of us. I hope you have a great first day of school and I'll be praying for you!

  8. Those sunflowers tho <3 My computer has been weird with your blog so I'm only just now really getting to check it out and IT'S SO PRETTY AHH <3 I love the changes. You did it with the blog in a fantastic way -- you'll handle the life changes just fine. I believe in you, fren! <3

  9. That's really all there is to it, isn't it. Take one thing at a time. I'm the type of human who likes to look at the future in perspective, but every time I do, I get so overwhelmed. But I'm trying. Trying to focus on the here and now, what I have to do now.
    Here's to a great senior year for both of us.

    1. The future is...kind of the worst. But you're right, we've got this.

  10. All of this sounds so exciting! So happy for you Aimee! I hope it's a good year.

  11. Ah my child <3 This was also kind of me going into college last week. I'm proud of you always and ALSO I LOVE JANE EYRE. MAYBE ON OF MY FAVORITE CLASSICS.

  12. WHAT!!! This is so crazy to think that I am older than you (I think). I'm starting my freshman year of college, and to think that I am graduated and no longer in high school still seems unreal. Adulthood is challenging but oh so much fun!


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