“I’m 19, and I’m on fire”

“Every night, I live and die
Feel the party to my bones
Watch the wasters blow the speakers
Spill my guts beneath the outdoor light
It’s just another graceless night
I hate the headlines and the weather
I’m nineteen and I’m on fire
But when we’re dancing I’m alright
It’s just another graceless night
Are you lost enough?
Have another drink, get lost in us
This is how we get notorious, oh
‘Cause I don’t know
If they keep tellin’ me where to go
I’ll blow my brains out to the radio, oh
All of the things we’re taking
‘Cause we are young and we’re ashamed
Send us to perfect places
All of our heroes fading
Now I can’t stand to be alone
Let’s go to perfect places” 
– Perfect Places, Lorde 
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Here is a story: I just turned 19, and for the past 18 years of my life, I’ve been very…let’s say…impartial to my birthday. Some years I’ve hated it. Others I’ve tolerated it. A handful of years I decided to suck it up and receive it as it was. It isn’t the age thing that bothers me. (I’m not going to be a young person who gripes about being young.) I wrote a poem called Good Mourning that talks about this concept a lot. This whole…I want attention on my birthday but I don’t want to ask for it. I want people to show me they love me without asking for it.
This year, I cast all of this off, gathered my best friends, and we spent a weekend celebrating birth and life and America’s independence at a lake in the middle of actually nowhere in Indiana. We blew up black balloons and swam in the lake. We made an enormous breakfast and ran around in a field. We went to a drive-in movie and made cinnamon rolls at 3 a.m. We played lots and lots and lots of Uno (and successfully did not murder each other.) We got 100 mosquito bites but no tics or lime disease. We almost made ourselves sick on twizzlers and doritos.
If you know me well, you know that I’m obsessed with Lorde’s music and every single lyric she writes. So the whole “I’m 19 and I’m on fire” is kind of going to be my anthem. For a while at least. I just turned 19. Culturally, it doesn’t seem to hold much significance. 18 means you’re an adult. 20 means you’ve made it two decades. 21 means you’re an ACTUAL adult. etc. 19 is just 19, but I want to make it iconic in my own way. Not for others to consider iconic. I just want to remember being 19 and be like, “Yes, being 19 was really, really amazing and I love everything that I was then.” And I am on fire. For Jesus, for writing, for swimming in the lake.
Here are some of the moments captured. They might end up in a poetry collection someday or just become moody Pinterest aesthetics. But maybe they will just belong to me and my friends and this little blog.
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2 thoughts on ““I’m 19, and I’m on fire”

  1. Happy birthday, Lydia! I liked being 19. It was weird being an adult but still a teenager at the same time. Maybe you’ll find this inspiring like I did: Joan of Arc, who is my patron saint, did her most amazing stuff at age 19. Of course it’s terrible that she also was martyred at 19. But it’s pretty inspiring to think about all she accomplished at that age. I think you’re going to do awesome things!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Claire! Thank you for sharing about Joan of Arc. I wrote research papers about her when I was in middle school but somehow forgot that she was 19. It is very inspiring indeed. Thank you for your kind words, I believe you will fantastic things as well! Kindness and motivation get people pretty far lo.

      Liked by 1 person

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