today, i am nineteen.
only a decade ago i was still a girl-child, running barefoot across valleys of scorching asphalt. in the evening i would pick at the blisters that had formed on the soles of my feet, hoping they would turn leathery and impervious to pain. indian feet, my grandfather called them. me, invincible, scurrying up trees and relishing the sensation of rough bark against the palm of my hand. i brandished my bruises and scrapes proudly, like battle scars. the agglomeration of elbow and knee band-aids were testimony to my prowess in bicycle racing and tree climbing.
naturally, when the weather was dark and damp and i was rendered listless, i would imagine what i would look like in ten years' time. i would have beautiful long, dark hair. and highly-polished, red fingernails. and more pokémon cards than anyone else in the neighborhood. such notions were driven by an unutterably sweet naďveté, for i completely failed to understand the concept of gradual aging. in my mind, i would one day wake up and be shaped like an adult. fully-fledged, both mentally and physically.
it is something i still wish for.