baby steps

It's starting to sink in that I've stepped into this phase of my life called "my twenties."  I can now flip through a magazine and relate to a section of a spread devoted to "if you're in your 20's...."  It's always scary stepping into new stages in life.  When you're younger, you simply glide through each stage. From ornery "toddler years" to curious "elementary years."  You don't think twice about it.  I never was aware of the what phases I was going through then, other than the remarks I'd get from adults.  "You were THIS tall last time I saw you!"  "Look how big you've gotten." These comments stopped when I stopped growing in 6th grade.

The first transition I became aware of was moving from elementary school to middle school (which I will lovingly dub the "awkward years").  I remember very clearly the day I tearfully left the sixth grade. I had a golden year of elementary school--president of Student Council, member of the hilariously-named Yacht Club (we made a giant cardboard boat for a boat race at Tempe Town Lake) and ELP student that got to go on a trip to California.  It seemed like a shame leaving behind all that fun and accomplishment.  It seemed like even more of a shame when I got to middle school and endured three years of awkwardness--friends coming and going, my first three "boyfriends" that were more trouble than they were worth, and discovering my strengths and weaknesses as a student (first B, I still hate you--here's looking at you, Geometry).  But in true Kaylie fashion (I at the same time yearn and avoid change), I tearfully left middle school as well.  And like anything I experience, I never stop experiencing it--I'm a sucker for nostalgia.

The easiest transition, weirdly enough, was middle school to high school.  The night before high school started, I watched one of my favorite movies, Mean Girls, on TV.  My high school experience turned out to be the farthest removed from the one Mean Girls presented as possible.  I found a club I adored--Yearbook, and this made the transition into high school a dream.  I was still the slightly awkward quiet girl in loud colors and patterns, but I found an outlet for my creativity.  I was immediately involved in everything on campus through Yearbook--interviewing random people from clubs and sports, taking pictures at basketball and football games.  It was my way of experiencing high school in an involved but observant way.

As silly as it sounds, leaving high school was really hard.  Sure, I was ready to start a new adventure--I wasn't as ready to leave behind my happy senior year of busy fun.  I still visit Yearbook, two years later.  Yearbook is something I will always look fondly back on and miss.

Now that my friends and I are in college, we aren't all going through the same phases.  I know people (and some are close friends) who are married, engaged, living in their own lovely house, in college, working multiple jobs, creating brand new lives for themselves in new cities...  It's awesome, exciting, great, fun, scary, and... kind of sad.

Everyone has their own thing going on now, and the threads that held us together in the past are getting stretched farther and farther.  Some are wearing thin, and others I am happy to say have proved wonderfully sturdy.  As someone who values a few close friends as opposed to a large group of friends, it's hard to see friendships fade, but I guess that's just part of growing up.

Of all the phases I could be going through right now, I am very happy with where I'm at.   I'm taking tentative steps toward so-called adulthood by living off campus this fall and in London this spring.  Ted and I will be celebrating our two year anniversary this October.  I'm assisting with the fall mainstage at school, getting closer to a costume design thesis project.  These steps may seem small in comparison to some of my peers (especially here in Mesa, where everyone is getting married and starting families), but they are definitely the right-sized steps for me.


Lizzie said...

Yeah, sometimes it's crazy to think where I was a year ago and just how far I've come.

I've loved reading and following your life as you've grown up. I also can't wait to read about your experiences in LONDON! :D

janee said...

Kk keep i read your intermost thoughts that you write, the memories come back to me because i recall the same feelings!