twenty years later...

me in 2013, on my 16th birthday

IT'S MY BIRTHDAY. I'm officially twenty years old, which, *SPOILER ALERT* means I'm not a teenager anymore. That's just...strange. I've been a -teen for seven years, and all of a sudden it just happened and the earth kept revolving and ...

*dramatic pause*


(I'm one of those annoying people who thinks age is an arbitrary concept, but I do realize the gravity of this moment, so I want to use it to send a single idea.)

My teenage years would not make for a great YA novel. I was never that angsty, mainly just hangry. I didn't have an identity crisis. I never got invited anywhere so I never had a "partying phase". I needed my mom's help to dye my hair purple. I was homeschooled and never took the SAT.  But I did get to do a lot of cool stuff. At 13 I started this blog, at 14 I was in Teen Vogue, at 15 I stood up for Barbie, and at 16 I graduated high school. At 17 I moved to Germany, when I was 18 I gave up my dreams of being a Disney Channel star, and this last year I got on a helicopter and spoke to crowds and finally learned how to thread eyebrows.

BIG PICTURE: Young people have an extraordinary capacity for greatness if people stop using their age as a barrier. 

So no, as of today I will no longer be an "extraordinary/incredible/talented/fill-in-your-preferred-adjective teen" - but I'm exactly who 13 year old me wanted to be.

5'8, green streaks,
and still talking to myself on the internet.  

x Justina

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