You realize, as you’re sitting on your bed, holding the phone you begged your mommy to buy just months ago, that 18 is so far from 17. 17 was so beautiful; with youth in all its glory and the future just seemed so out of grasp. And yet, you grow and while growing, you make friends that you share your secrets to when dawn peeks, you make decisions that could change your life unknowingly and you fall in love, a love that’s raw and free, a love you can only have at 17. But somehow at 18, you lose the friends through petty fights and those shared secrets were now secrets for strangers, you make the wrong decisions because they were different from the decisions you once made at 17, and you fall out of love, a love you thought would last forever because of empty promises you made when everything seemed possible. 18 is beautiful too, you realize, because you can do all the things you did at 17, but not the way you did at 17. At 18, you make friends and you don’t share your secrets at the wee hours of the night but you share your goals, your passions and funky music you heard on the radio that plays during the late afternoon drives. At 18, you make decisions you never did at 17. It’s scary at first, but you’re no longer 17 and at 18, things are different, you’re more mature and you hold yourself with confidence and you stand up for the decisions you make. At 18, you fall in love again, but not with a boy that reeks of mud and barely has ****** hair, instead, you fall in love with yourself. You fall in love with your stomach that’s not flat, you fall in love with your dainty fingers and you fall in love with the life you created that you never really loved at 17. The phone in your hand dings, it’s a message from a friend you thought you lost at 17: ‘happy birthday.’ The screen blackens because you know you can reply later because when you’re 18, 19 seems so far away.