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Yazmin Williams: “Growing Up”

This I Believe

Growing Up

by Yazmin Williams

 

Throughout my 18 years (and counting) of life, I swear the only thing I could think about was how ready I was to learn “big girl things’.’ The want of growing up was so pronounced to me that I was independent from a young age. It started with walking home alone, then led to being at my house with no supervision, and it quickly progressed to learning how to drive.

Now don’t get me wrong, those things were thrilling and exciting, but now as a freshman in college, I’m wondering how it went by so fast. It feels like the days just flew by, almost like I don’t remember living them, but that’s just not the case. I believe in the savoring of life and its many ups and downs, whether it leaves me jumping with joy or in my bed with a tub of ice cream binge watching Grey’s Anatomy.

As a first year college student, you could easily say I have my whole life ahead of me to truly experience life. I can assure you, I’ve already got countless memories that I will forever keep with me.

An unforgettable time in my life was my family trip to Cancun, Mexico. The hotel we stayed at was beautiful, with a stunning view of the ocean. For the duration of our time spent, we basically were at the beach everyday, eating up whatever we felt like.

Personally, I love the beach—the smell of salt and sound of waves crashing on the shoreline is heaven to me. I remember we participated in a baby turtle release that involved transporting baby turtles from a box and putting them into the life. The turtles were hatched in incubators to protect them from the elements.

The whole trip was a pleasurable and heartwarming experience that will always remind me of what I expect from life. I expect to venture out and see new scenery and take part in activities that make a change.

Growing up has taught me life isn’t always a box of chocolates. I’ve had my fair share of memories that I don’t want to remember for they aren’t so pleasurable.

Around two years ago, I got into my very first car accident. It was a super traumatising experience to say the least. I was driving home and suddenly some lady cut me off, horribly I might add. From the looks of it, it seemed as though it was my fault. Usually if you hit someone from the back, the fault is always the one behind. I was freaking out.

I called my mom crying hysterically. Luckily, a guy pulled to the side with us claiming he saw everything, and he became a witness to the cops. He informed the cops of what happened and I wasn’t put at fault at all. This experience was scary and stressful. However, it showed me that I should be more of a force. When I say force, I mean be strong. The woman who cut me off was yelling at me and I was submissive and letting her.

I understand I was young, but I should have at least defended myself. It’s embarrassing to think about how much of a “little girl” I looked like. I’d say this shaped my now attitude and mindset. I don’t let people walk over me.

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(Read all the pieces in This I Believe; featured image from Flickr user FUMIGRAPHIK, used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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