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Twenty years from now

Somewhere in Indiana I will discover myself, I hope.

On Tuesday, I entered my twentieth year of life. There is so much life I have already lived. So much time spent laughing and crying and crying some more. Where do I see myself twenty years from now?

Hopefully, I am far away from my haunting past and bad decisions, but I doubt I will be. Where does anyone see themselves twenty years from now? Worst case scenario, still in the Midwest. Best case scenario, also, still in the Midwest. I think a house with a fireplace would be nice. Somewhere to sit and read my books and drink my tea. I may own a cat or two, depending on how large that said house is. I would most of all want for it to be a home, filled with people I love and who love me.

It’s not fair to try to predict where my future leads though, so I won’t be picky on specifics, like kids names, or professions. All of it will be a product of moving forward. Each day now brings a new part of myself I didn’t know existed, a little part of myself who I am beginning to acknowledge.  Especially these days I wish I could meet myself as a child, the blunt bangs and spunky attitude combined with big dreams. My parents would always tell me I was braver than my brothers, no. Always taking risks. No fear, no pain, nothing to lose.

Would that little girl, with the bright colored sweaters and painted nails, look at me, look at the life I am living and be excited I made it? What would I tell her? I may not be much different than that girl now. Maybe she is braver than I. When did I lose that? And how do I attempt to get it back? Will I twenty years from now and think the same thing about myself now? I hope not. I think my younger self would like the way I hang important moments on my wall. Quotes and photos and memories, illuminated by twinkling lights. I think she would like the friends I’ve made. The ones I can sit in silence with and laugh about how life has brought us together. I think she would like the amount of concerts I’ve been to, and the places I’ve seen, the nature I’ve been able to take in. I think she’d love my hair, and my nose, that took me a little too long to grow into. I think she would love the books I’ve read and the love I’ve been able to express.

But most of all I think she would like the strength I continue to have every day. I continue to push myself to make her proud. And to make my future self proud as well. Twenty something, such an odd time to be living in, somewhere I was terrified to be, but somewhere I can find comfort in reaching.

You can contact Cora at chaddad01@saintmarys.edu.

The views expressed in this Inside Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.