When I’m 30, I hope to smile the way I did at 21–full teeth, molars, and all.
I hope to embody the mother figures I carry within me—therapists, teachers, as well as my adult self.
I hope to speak from my hips just like Michelle Obama, and help to empower the voices of other women.
I hope to stand firmly and comfortably when I say hello, to raise my hand high when I have something to say, and to speak when I feel like speaking.
I hope to let thoughts come and go, to kiss someone because I want to, and to finally say “no” when I mean it.
Yes, when I am 30, this is what I hope for.
I want to feel free to take up as much space as I’d like, to speak when I want, and do with my body as I so choose.
I want to take a marker and draw on my arms because I can.
I want to paint my nails bright red because I can.
I want to get a nose ring because I want to and can.
By the time I’m 30, I want to feel okay with doing what I want.
I want to feel okay dating whomever I want, with dancing when I feel like dancing, and with saying “f*ck” because why not?
I want to break down the concrete wall that stands between me and my adult self, and I don’t want to do so gracefully.
I want to kick it.
Take a hammer.
Maybe a drill.
And watch it come crashing down.
I want to take the leftover pieces and crush them in my hands.
I want to thank the wall for what it has done to protect me, and then I want to put its pieces out on the street for Tuesday’s garbage pickup.
Yes, wall, you kept me safe.
You did your job.
Truly, you saved me.
It’s time, though, for us to part ways.
It’s time for me to fully step into my adult shoes, embody my Michelle Obama voice, and finally say to the world:
I have a lot to say, and at 30, I hope to say it all.
I am giving myself this year to get there.