I’m still 19. I took a break from my final Art & Architecture essay to grab a coffee across the street. The air in the city was electric and sticky in anticipation of a coming storm.

I watched the brick wall across from my window grow darker through the slats of the shades. I filmed the first drops of rain hitting the glass, as though they too were something I’d be nostalgic for.

“I’m 19.” In the last few months, I’ve loved telling people that. Today I stood in front of the mirror and smiled and said it a few times. I tried saying, “I’m 20,” and felt sad. It doesn’t have the same ring to it. It doesn’t feel right. Can I invent twenteen?

A few minutes after the first rumbling of thunder, my roommate came back absolutely soaked.

Grateful to no longer be alone, and pleasantly unable to ruminate over my impending transcendence due to the whir of her blow-drying her uggs, I tried to return to my essay.

Tomorrow, I will be 20. I will wake up into a new decade of my life. To tell you the truth, I feel 20 already. Maybe that’s a symptom of living in Manhattan for a while, of the forced independence and money woes. I feel heavy with the knowledge that even after I move back to Connecticut next week, this 20-year-old feeling won’t leave me. I won’t be able to go back.

I saw Hellogoodbye and Relient K last night, both of whom I started listening to when I was 12 or 13. It was the perfect concert to end this decade with, but I’m here blogging, so I guess it wasn’t enough of a catharsis to completely rid me of my teenaged angst. I’m trying to focus. I’m trying to remind myself that the best is yet to come. Ten years from now, when I’m curled up in a ball, freaking out about my thirties, I know fretting over this birthday is going to seem silly. The future is like this art essay I’m currently procrastinating: I have to write it myself, and the harder I work, the better it will be.

I’ll always have a soft spot for the emo music I grew up loving, and the faded old Converse in my closet. This is my farewell to my teenage years, but not a farewell to who I’ve been and still am.