So this is it. 20 years of life finally coming to a close as I turn 21 and I can honestly can say in the words of Viola Davis, “You can’t be hesitant about who you are”, and this has stood with me time and time again. I remember back to when I first turned 16 and returned to New York City, and I was lost in the city that in my mind was one of the most dangerous places as a sophomore in high school to roam alone by yourself. I made a choice in that moment to either get scared and call friends or parents to come and help me, or trust my instinct and know that if I can find my way then I was meant to live in NYC like I have dreamt of for so many years. Long story short; I almost got hit by a car and couldn’t find a bathroom forever but I found my way and trusted my gut to know that I am capable of things I didn’t even think I could do.
When I turned 20 years old I thought that I was invincible and that nothing would stop me from being anything less than phenomenal, but what I really learned is that sometimes growing up is hard. In the wise words of Rupi Kaur, “Loneliness is a sign you are in desperate need of yourself”, I learned that 20 years old was my year to learn to be okay being lonely and to get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I didn’t know how much I thought I knew about myself until I had no other choice but to be lonely and forced to take a good, long look in the mirror at who I was. I am not saying this to say at 20 years old you have to have everything in your life figured out but everyone needs that time when they really reflect on who they are as a person and who they want to be. This was my chance to make mistakes and I did. This was my year to grow and want better for myself because I am worth it and I did. I was afforded the opportunity to meet and become acquaintances and friends with so many incredible people this past year of my life. I also learned that some people come into your life to teach you lessons about yourself, to help you grow and understand more, to show you love even if it is only for a season and that’s okay. I learned, I grew, and became better as I ventured through another year.
I can not thank you ALL enough. Each and every single person that has helped me grow, learn, and become a better me. To any and everyone reading this thank you for making an impact on my life that I could not foresee as that lost boy in NYC at the age of 16.
“I would tell my younger self just be yourself—that who you are is good enough.” —Viola Davis, 2014
Thanks for reading.
Miles S. Hicks