So, dear readers, is there anything which one must do while eighteen? If so, I have four days left in which to do it.
Around this time last year I was in a state of shock over how quickly seventeen had gone. Now that I look back on seventeen from a slight distance, I can see why I felt that way. The first six months of seventeen were spent in a blur of advanced math (curses be upon it), college visits, scholarship applications, and discussions-ending-in-tears over the fact that I got into my crazy stubborn head the idea that God wanted me to give up a full-ride scholarship so I could go to an itty-bitty little Catholic school in the middle of the Rust Belt.
The next three months were spent reading fifty-six books (no, that is not a typo), playing pick-up games of Ultimate Frisbee, and having everybody and their aunt asking me if I was nervous about going to college. I wasn't, actually, until everybody started asking me and I started wondering if there was something to be nervous about.
Then there was a five-hour car ride, during which I was very nervous, and a loooong weekend during which I grinned like an idiot. My dad said, "You're not nearly as nervous as you were on the way here," to which I replied, "I'm just jazzed to be on the show, man." (If you get that you're a geek. I'm just saying.)
There followed three months of, "Oh, crap, now I have to take care of myself." I managed, somehow, to make it to my eighteenth birthday without dying, though I did cry pretty much the whole day. We won't talk about that.
The first two and a half months of eighteen are best characterized by the single word waiting...I did not know then for whom.
Around the end of January the Russians happened. You know, dear readers, someday I'm going to tell you about the Russians and you're going to be terribly disappointed because it really isn't that exciting, except for me, because of what happened after.
You see, it was the Russians who made me, later, pause and think just how dear Scott had become to me.
As soon as I realized that I stopped dead and said (out loud), "I'm in trouble."
The next two and a half months of eighteen were spent wrestling with God. I was rather dramatically miserable at the time but in hindsight I'm starting to see why it was necessary. Before April 4 I would not have been ready to stand and listen while Scott stood there and explained an interesting thing he'd just figured out. Before April 6 I wouldn't have been able to say...whatever it was I ended up saying. It was very long and rambly and never really came to a point. I just kind of trailed off and we stood there grinning at each other.
I'm not even going to attempt to summarize the seven months that followed. Maybe in ten years or so they'll form some kind of coherent picture. Suffice it to say that the bad parts of eighteen were worse than the bad parts of seventeen, but the good parts were so much better that if I cry all day on my birthday again it'll be because I can't believe it's possible to be this blessed.