Feeling 21, 16 and 80 at heart – The Daily Free Press



Maya Frankel, a 21 year old tea enthusiast, comes to you live from Trident Booksellers & Cafe on Newbury Street.

Now that my cool presentation is over, let’s go to first person. I turned 21 on October 4th. It seems strange to finally be the age you both feared and eagerly waited for. For so many years I worried about growing up and how it would change me. I was afraid of getting old and not being myself anymore, but that’s not the definition of growing up.

Growing up means acquiring new knowledge and experiences. Growing up means growing up in yourself – the person you are meant to be. Growing up scared me, but now I can’t wait to meet who I will become and how I will change. The future is uncertain, but the only thing I know to be true is that everything will work out. In my opinion, everyone is destined for greatness and their happiness forever.

The day before my birthday, I stayed awake with my roommate Sam to watch the clock strike midnight and my birthday to begin. We started dancing and singing – amazed to be 21. The birthday I had been thinking about for years had finally arrived. The night was like a dream that I would wake up to anytime. I fell asleep happy and excited for what this year would bring me.

Birthday candles. After recently turning 21, Maya reflects on how exactly she is where she wants to be and encourages us to enjoy every minute of life by staying in the present. COURTESY OF SYNX508 VIA CREATIVE COMMONS

I woke up to 55 degrees Fahrenheit, strong winds and unforgettable heavy rain. Nonetheless, we did due and moved our outdoor picnic inside my apartment. My lovely friends Sam and Watercolor Patch painted with me on our floor while we listened to soothing music. We ordered the Landwer coffee and enjoyed each other’s company, feeling safe from the cold in our cozy Bay State apartment.

That night I went out to dinner with my best friends Julia and Sam. We had fries and I ordered a pink champagne drink. I felt like an adult holding champagne in my hand in a fancy French restaurant. It felt like a movie night where we were running to the Uber in the rain to clap ourselves with champagne on my 21st birthday.

Growing up, I was always the girl who didn’t want to grow old and was afraid of the future. Oh, how the tables turned. I am now the girl who looks forward to every year and the beautiful and exciting opportunities and adventures that I am about to take. The unknown is something to look forward to, not to fear. Think of the unknown as a story that is constantly adding new pages. How can you move forward without all the pages that lead to future moments? The answer: you can’t.

Every experience, good or bad, shapes who you are and who you will become. Sometimes I feel like an 80 year old woman drinking tea and watching a movie at 9 p.m. Other days I feel like I’m 16 again, wanting to run through a city and never stop. Whether I’m 80, 21 or 16, one thing’s for sure, I’m happy where I am. I don’t wonder where I will be in the next 20 years.

It’s strange being 21 in second year. I took a year off, so it makes sense, but sometimes I wonder if I would have felt any different if I had been 18 when I entered Boston University. This thought quickly leaves my head as I remember that I am exactly where I am supposed to be at exactly the right time.

Everyone is exactly where they should be – don’t think otherwise. Wishing you were somewhere else or that you could turn back time isn’t productive for anyone. Remember your past with photos and videos. Stay in the moment when you look up.

Enjoy every minute of this beautiful life. The good and the bad shape who you are, so don’t be afraid when you make a mistake or worry that a decision is the right one. You will make a million decisions and learn from your mistakes. If you don’t do them, how are you going to learn? Believe in yourself and in who you are. Trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be and enjoy the ride.


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