COMING OF AGE || 24 ||

You are as young as your faith, as old as your doubt; as young as your self-confidence,

as old as your fear; as young as your hope, as old as your despair.”

Douglas MaCarthur

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This year, I truly felt a sense of “coming of age,” which I regard separate from “growing up.” This is because characteristically, I will never lose my jovial youth, it’s just part of who I am. Coming of age for me is an understanding of who you are, what you’ve seen, and where you’re going. I consider myself lucky to have lived an authentic life in this space falling somewhere between kid and adult, for here I have found undeniable purpose, courage, wonder, wisdom, laughter, and beauty.

 In this “coming of age” thing, I’ve learned life’s journey is meant to be shared, and it’s with those who you choose to surround yourself with that shape that experience. This is the exact reason why this years celebration was so special to me. It was a fun weekend filled with pleasant surprises and a few destinations.

DESTINATION 1:

Orange County.

I spent the eve of my birthday in Orange with my best friend and creative partner, Evan Woods. The small antique town was the first place I called home upon arriving in California 6 years ago, and it will forever hold a special place in my heart. However this place wouldn’t be as special to me if it weren’t for the people I think of every time I visit. With each arrival comes a new wave of nostalgia much different from the one before.  I smile upon the speed at which life progressed yet I still feel a desire to regress. I gratefully thank my memory for the moment in which I was able to relive, and carry on my way into the unknown upon a familiar road.

As I arrived at Evan’s place, I was greeted with an iconic E. Woods scare. Popping out from behind the dark abyss of his bathroom, he successfully sent my shrieks echoing throughout his entire house. Already breathless, the master of surprise got me once again as I opened the door to the studio to find a complete set filled with 70 tie-dye balloons, configured into a birthday throne. We played, then got down to business and “worked”, then played some more until a balloon would pop, then we screamed, then laughed some more. Post-shoot, we danced around the studio pretending to be fitness instructors, encouraging our pseudo audience to “drop that Cheetos bag” and move to the Hi-NRG music with us. We giggled until our stomachs hurt. It was not a bad way to ring in the birthday if I must say.

DESTINATION 2:

Hermosa Beach.

The next day, I spent my birthday happily relaxing in Hermosa Beach. I lived simply and enjoyed the down time and peace that comes with life at the beach. A slower pace paves the way for deeper breathes. As for the rest of the chapter, that will have to be left to the imagination. Hey, a smart girl knows when to reveal and when to keep to herself.

I will leave you with this,

I was treated like r o y a l t y for the day.

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