Recently regaining consciousness after completing my grade 11 final exams, I find myself in a state of confusion, clarity, excitement and disappointment.
A week remains until I collect my exam results – the exam results that will determine my admission into university.
A month remains until two thousand and fifteen – the final year I will spend in high school.
On my wall I have one of those year planners : a block a day for three hundred and sixty five days. For the past year I have scrawled on it things to remember which, for a nerd like me, mostly includes test dates and project reminders. Only every so often do I see a block which brings up a memory. One weekend in April, the block letters “Cape Town” appear, reminding me of the trip I made to my prospective university’s open day. Perched between “Physics practical” and “English paper 3” is the note “1 Year <3” . That’s the anniversary of the beginning of a rather strange relationship with the Boyfriend. One week before “AP Maths Exam” sits “Seventeenth Birthday” and I remember presents and pizza.
December is barren, save for an entry on the tenth, ” Last day of Grade eleven – report collection”. That was one of the first entries that went up in January and its message has become heavier and heavier with each passing day. Occasionally throughout the year I would glance at it, either for study motivation or perhaps to count the days until school was out. Whatever the case, it was always in the far distant future. That is how The Future sneaks up on you.
The handful of personal entries are pockets of emotion, but what hits even harder are the numerous empty days in between. What happened on those days? How did I spend those twenty four hours of my life? As the days rushed through my system, they must have meant something. They could have bored me, excited me, challenged me or reduced me to tears. Now all I have of those days are empty blocks on a calender I will soon throw away.
I did not fulfill all of the promises I made to myself 11 months ago. I can not run five kilometers. I have not blogged once a week. I did not wash my face every day. This does not mean I am the same. This does not mean that my year has been a failure.
To be honest, I do not even remember my New Year’s resolutions. However, things did happen this year. Changes were made. I improved my school average by seven percent. I stopped biting my nails (except for the right thumb. It’s the cheat nail). I kept my room tidier than I usually do. I made to do lists and I did the things. I put on two kilograms. I cut off almost all of my butt-length hair.
I grew up a little bit more. I no longer live in the body of a child. My opinions have been altered. My frame of mind has been shattered and rebuilt. I grew closer to some people while the bond I shared with others frayed. My priorities shifted. I set ridiculously high standards for myself and most of the time I met them. Each day, even the ones I can’t remember, changed me piece by piece.
Two thousand and fourteen will sadly not be remembered for each and every day. I do not remember what happened on January the twenty second or April the seventeenth or September the second. A month from now I will probably not remember what happened on December the first. Those days are gone forever. I will remember two thousand and fourteen as the year I lost a friend. The year my academic performance exceeded my expectations. The year I climbed a mountain (Still so proud). The year of the bob.
One year ago, on a day I can’t remember, I was a bored sixteen year old with short nails and long hair. Now, on a day I will not remember, I am a bored seventeen year old with long nails and short hair. Except now I have a year’s more experience on my mind, a year’s more wear and tear on my skin and a year’s more hopes and dreams in my soul.
Thank you, two thousand and fourteen. A year I won’t remember but an experience I will never forget.