I've said it before: I haven't felt like a teenager for a long time. I'm not particularly sad at leaving those years behind.
However, I am only twenty, and ages 13 through 19 were years of enormous change and, I would hope, growth.
I'm going to tell you about a few of my favorite moments from the years.
I was 18 in 2011, and let me tell you, that has been thus far the best year of my life. Let's start at the beginning. In January I got a Nook eReader as an early graduation present. That was cool. And then in February it snowed 6 feet and I got pneumonia. That was less cool. It was the year I started thrift shopping and changing my wardrobe to more suit my style. It was the year of the royal wedding, when I woke up at 2:50 AM to watch it all happen. I went to homeschool prom that year (which sucked big time), and "graduated" from high school, and had a nice graduation party with my best friend from birth. I turned 18 and got an awesome Instax camera. My brother's girlfriend became one of my best friends
I went to Florida again, for what I knew might be the last time for a while. I got to have the time of my life with my mom, brother, and sister in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. We got to drink butterbeer, and ride a hippogriff, and fly with Harry Potter.
We got to meet Wolverine, my brother's hero.
I got to go back to Epcot for the first time in 17 years.
I got to meet my Disney crush and crushette.
My family and I went on a road trip to New Jersey to see my brother. The drive there was one of my favorite memories. We met all the brothers of his order and loved them like they were our own brothers.
I went to New York for the first time, and saw the entire city in one day.
I fell in love with the beautiful friary where my brother lived, in the heart of the Newark slums. I got to experience what it was like to live a life where your day revolved completely around prayer, and it was my favorite thing ever.
I got to see one of my favorite cousins get married in Key West! I walked from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic ocean. I went to a wedding on the beach, and watched two people perfect for each other say "I do."
I witnessed the end of Harry Potter, and cried like a baby.
I went to Mall of America in Minnesota with my favorite family members for the first time since I was a baby.
I got the amazing, amazing, utterly unforgettable experience of seeing Paul McCartney live.
I started college, and met one of my best friends of all time, and the kindest person I know.
My brother mentioned in passing that a movie starring Dennis Quaid and Zac Efron was being filmed an hour away from us, and that they had an open casting call for extras.
Despite being the granddaughter of a former Bears player and a lifelong Bears fan, I went to my first Bears game ever in December 2011
It was a crazy incredible year.