I believe that growing up is the best and worst thing that has ever happened to me. I hate all the good-byes that come along with it. I dislike the odd-shaped hair of my twelfth year. I miss my home. I hate the fact I have to give it up. A local ocean, sparkling fresh sea food and cool coastal weather hardly seems adequate compensation to the rain on my own bedroom windows, or the small kitchen table where every night I knew what I would be eating and who with and how long. Being allowed to make mistakes has been fun though. Growing up encapsulates the time I carried my friend’s cockatoo into her grandma’s Cadillac and watched as it pooed all over the new leather. Growing up is also when I decided to stuff said cockatoo in my sweatshirt to stealthily disappear the evidence. Growing up, is also annoyingly, the place I or anybody never seems to get to. It tempts me with the promise of high heels, perfume, and then dangles car keys, college applications, slow trips to the city, long stays in strange places. It can be terrible, to acquire and acquire with no hope of rest, or permanence. I get so tired of moving and preparing to leave, knowing that nothing is forever. While I never get there, I never get grown, getting there usually always turns out to better than what I thought would be at the end. It means being yelled at by your small community director Juan for singing Journey too loud and terribly. Getting there is learning, instead, to serenade him with Air Supply’s, “Making Love out of Nothing At All”, to get back on his good side. Getting older, just trying to get there, constitutes so much. Just on this essay I had to write about like 20 other beliefs. I had gone through I believe in singing out loud, I believe in saying goodbye, I believe in getting lost, being lost, and when afraid, I believe fear is exponentially decreased when singing “Don’t Stop Believing”. It took me a long time to notice they were all the same thing. I would like to make this the year of learning. Learning to appreciate Prince and his thespian genius in “Purple Rain. The year of learning never to long board in the dorm hallway if you don’t expect to crash into your Community Director’s door. A year, of growing up –finally- even with a group of kids, who just months ago, were only strangers. I wanted to say growing up is good only so much as you have things to look forward to. I wanted to say something about friends in unlikely places, and never, even if you wanted to, even the moment before you desperately fall asleep, never being alone. I would like also to add that nothing terribly remarkable has ever happened to me, but the process of waiting, has been marvelous.