Sometimes you gotta stop and remember that you’re not gonna live forever… be young, think smart, stay true and just follow your heart.

I’ve never exactly known a lot about relationships. My early teenage years were spent day dreaming about boys like Pacey Whitter while getting caught up in relationships that left me emotionally and physically drained. And at seventeen, I thought I had met that boy–my very own boy next door (okay, and through the path). The boy who would save me, and make everything better. The boy would would never, could never, hurt me. And without a doubt, I tried to hold onto that idea for a long, long time even when the reality was less than perfect.

Sometimes I wish I could erase the last seven years. While I spent my days caught up in love with love, I missed out on the ups and downs of dating that my friends experienced. In all honesty, when it comes to boys and dating, sometimes I feel like I’m seventeen again. It is all so new to me, and I can be so very naive. While people my age (and younger) are settling down, getting married and having babies, I’m starting over. And it hasn’t been easy. For the first part of this year, I made a lot of mistakes, kissed a lot of boys who meant nothing to me, all because I never had. It was new, it was fresh, and it was exciting. And I’m definitely not saying it wasn’t fun. Breaking out of my shell has really shown me who I am, and now more than ever I think I know what I want. But there is something so empty about a bunch of blurry, meaningless faces (with, of course, the exception of a few.)

I said all summer that the last thing I wanted was a boyfriend. It was definitely a summer of freedom. Even up to my birthday last weekend I think I was still in that state of mind, making up for the experiences I thought I never had. But now, all of the sudden, I think I’m realizing that more then anything I’m ready to grow up some. It may have been the beyond drunkenness of my birthday, but I find myself wanting to pull back, to settle down. To stop kissing boys (even the boys I’ve known a very long time) just because I want someone there. Growing up has always terrified me, but I want to make something of my year. If twenty-three was known as the year of loss, I want twenty-four to be the year I shine. The year everything comes together for me. The year of great things.

I’m not saying that I’m on a quest to find a boyfriend. I’ve always hailed from the land of “good things come to those who wait” but I definitely don’t think I’m going to sabotage myself anymore, or keep myself walled into such a tight little space. Sure, it’s always easier to sink into the familiar but I feel a little more ready for those good things to happen, however they will.

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