WHOA! Okay, this is for sure the absolute last time that i take a break from writing! This is honestly my favorite thing to do, and I have missed it so much! Now that all that sappy stuff is out of the way, let’s get to the important stuff! As you could probably tell from the title, I recently turned eighteen!! Not sure if it’s normal for a person to feel a change whenever they age – I usually don’t – but I definitely did this time! I feel like a whole new young lady ready to embark on the new chapter of my life!
Whenever I was younger, I always wondered how I would celebrate my special day. For those who don’t know, I am a Disney NUT! Anything and everything Disney is right up my alley! Well, when Disney’s Tangled came out, I instantly fell in love with Rapunzel. I felt as if I had so much in common with this princess – mind the fact that I wasn’t stolen from my real parents and raised in a tower hidden in the woods (at least that’s what my mom tells me whenever I ask 😂). Rapunzel’s view of life and her desire to find her true place in the world really spoke to me. After watching the movie way more times than I care to admit, a dream arose in my mind. I came up with the most lovely eighteenth birthday expedition!
I spoke with my mom about my plans months in advance and told her all I wanted for my birthday was two things: number one, to spend it with my grandma; and two, to release lanterns. With those two birthday wishes, everything began to fall into place. Not wanting to set anything on fire, I researched sky lanterns and discovered that it is illegal to release them in some states – including Tennessee. Well, that little bump in the road actually worked out in my favor! I decided the road trip to visit my grandma would help pull in the adventure half of my birthday, and I could just release the lanterns in Alabama.
We headed out the morning before my birthday and spent the entire day with my grandma (she is the lovely lady standing next to me in one of the pictures above ☺️) and the rest of my close relatives. My family and I went out to lunch, then we went to watch my cousin’s ice skating performance – she did such a great job! After all the day’s fun, we went to our designated lantern-launching location. I ordered ten lanterns off Amazon* ( I was actually a little sketched about using them because they had some mixed reviews – mostly bad – but I took the chance and ordered them. They actually worked really well, I highly recommend using them) and had one set up and ready to go before the lighter was even lit. The first one I launched would have worked perfectly, however, we didn’t let enough heat get into it, so it came back at my face 😳. I screamed and quickly hit it down into the water – I can still hear mom in the background asking me to not catch myself on fire before I turn eighteen. After calming down from almost catching on fire, with a little bit of help, I got my second lantern lit and released.
Watching the lantern soar into the sky, I began to tear up a bit. As most people probably know, lanterns are usually released to commemorate certain events in lives. Some release them at weddings, while others do it to say goodbye to a dearly departed loved one. For me, seeing the lantern float away reminded me of the reason I decided to do it in the first place. That night, I was saying goodbye as well as starting a new chapter – I was the wife and the widow. I said goodbye to the part of my life that would live on through me forever, my youth. I realized that it was time to put an end to childish things in my life and time to start becoming the lady my mother raised me to be. As the light in the lantern began to go out, a smile came across my face. I could feel it in my heart and soul that I was ready for my new dream.
To be continued….