Everyone keeps telling me this year will be my golden year--the best year of my life--because I just turned 18 on the 18th. And in the week it's been since my "golden year" began, I already see what's so golden about it.
My free public schooling is over in June, I'll begin paying my way through my life come September. Things are changing. And I didn't realize until word reached me that Jason Mraz--my idol, my dream, my foundation for opinion--is engaged, that more than the price and atmosphere of school is changing; I can't expect things with Mraz to be the same, should the marriage actually last (which, in all honesty, I'm praying it will). How soon until he stops touring? How soon until he stops recording? How soon until he hangs up his guitar in retirement, only to take it down for the delight of his children? From what I know of the man, he'll forsake all he's built-up in fame to raise a couple of kids; he wants a family more than anything. I'm going to have to accept that change, I'm going to have to get used to the fact that someday relatively soon I won't be able to YouTube his new touring adventures or hear a new live track.
How ironic that the other, more closely related aspect of my life bid farewell to the old on the same day "she said yes" to Jason. I sat there Thursday evening watching the final performance of the final show at Rodger's Memorial Theatre. The next time I see a show it'll be in a new seat, staring at a new stage with new carpet and new acoustics and...
All the basic aspects of my life--everything I've ever known and believed on--are changing. And they all decided to change after my "golden" birthday.
Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that this golden year is not to be taken the way I'd initially hoped; thus far it is a precedent for change. It is to be a time for accepting all the change in my life; a time to take all I've known and all that has made me who I am, shift among them and keep the better parts, turning the rest into fond memories to share in a rocking chair by a dying fire.
I have to choose a new artist to serenade me with new music when Mraz stops for good, I have to familiarize myself with the drive to Centerpoint Legacy Theatre, and I have to decide if I want to drive my potential to Ceder City or bus it to Virginia. I need to embrace the beauty my golden year is providing, and truly play it for all it's worth.
I believe I'll be different after this year. I find myself looking not with sorrow on the empty theatre, engaged musician, and pathetic bank account; but with a note of adventure, and a thick icing of contentment keeping me together. I find I'm excited in a way I've never been to receive my diploma and leave; and, oddly, it was as if the only thing keeping me from falling into myself was my lenient arm on Mraz. And now that he's cut me free, I can take all this ground and build a mountain.