When I was 12 years old, my favorite show was Dawson's Creek. (Okay it still is, judge me. If you've never watched it, it's a great Summer-time binger and available on Netflix.) Actress, Katie Holmes played the character of Joey Potter- "The too tall girl that lives on the wrong side of the creek". I connected with this show for many personal reasons, but I completely adored the role of Joey. To some extent, I grew up with her, relating to her as she transitioned in to high school and then to college. If TV characters were real life people, I'd like to think we would've been besties,
Joey was a natural beauty; simple and classic, but adorably awkward. She was unsure of herself and constantly on a quest for her life's purpose. I believe her awkwardness and uncertainty came mainly from never wanting to be judged on her family's history of poor choices and tragic outcomes. She was always fearful of what other's thought, however determined to prove everyone wrong. She took pride in her education, got lost in novels, and found peace in her passion for art, more specifically, sketching.
"Okay, Ashley, we get it- you love Dawson's Creek, so what?" Well, here I am 31 years old and find myself still, on some level, relating to Joey. Even more so now that I have a niece who is 12 going on 25. (Pictured below. Isn't she cute? I'm biased, I know.) I see her on her own quest to find out who she is and where she belongs in today's society. So many of her insecurities are the same ones I struggled with and still do to this day. I watch my niece as she battles through normal tween-age angst; losing friends and making new ones, having her heart broken for the first time and trying to put the pieces back together again. She, unavoidably, is teeter-tottering on the see-saw of being a kid, but fiercely wanting to be an adult. I, unavoidably, am teeter-tottering on the see-saw of embracing being an adult, but fiercely wanting to stay 27 forever. Does this vicious cycle sound familiar? I'm pretty positive we all have had our fair share of clawing at the clock in one way or another.
Let's face it. Who we are today, won't be who we are in 20 years from now. Sure, our root-selves have the ability to remain hidden and untouched, but our branches and leaves see many sunny days and stormy nights... which inevitably change our structure. Whether we are 12, 31 or 70- all that really matters is we never stop embracing life's inescapable changes; never stop looking forward to our next quest for self-discovery. In the words of my friend, Dr. Patrick Steele, "Have the courage to be imperfect."
...And in the words of my TV bestie, "Well, just for tonight, do you think we could put our rapid ascend to adulthood on hold, please?"