On Saturday, May 7th 2011, I turned sixteen.
I’ve got to say, this was unlike any birthday I had ever experienced. After all, it was my Sweet 16.
I had been looking forward to this day since I was a child – getting to dress like a princess, having a huge party, and of course, getting to drive! But two days before the big day, I realized just how much I didn’t want to turn sixteen.
I had been counting down since the end of April, but as the day grew closer and closer, many different realizations hit me. First of all, I was going to be driving! That’s huge! I would have billions of people’s lives in my hands every day, including those of my own family and friends. Wouldn’t that be awful if something happened while I was in the driver’s seat?
Secondly, I realized that the huge party I had planned to have since I was a child was not going to happen. I hadn’t made any plans, and I realized I really didn’t want to. I was okay with having a low-key birthday with close family and friends. However, it still felt wrong to not acknowledge this milestone in the way I had originally imagined.
Lastly, I realized that when you are sixteen, you are exactly half-way through your teenage years. Isn’t that a scary thought?
I then named my condition a “mid-teen crisis”.
Now, let me tell you a little story. It starts on May 6th, 2011 – My last day being fifteen.
I was in mosque, just like any ordinary Friday. I wasn’t having a particularly good day – at mosque it seemed like everyone was ignoring me, and I had to clean the mosque all by myself since everyone had already gone home.
My parents told me that after mosque they wanted to go out for dinner with some family-friends. I reluctantly agreed, but I told them I really wanted to be home before midnight. We had originally wanted to go to this Indian restaurant in Burnaby, but apparently they were full, so we decided to go to Earls instead.
When I walked in, I was welcomed by the sounds of many party horns, complemented with the sounds of all my friends screaming “Surprise!” Being the amazing friends they are they had planned a Surprise Sweet 16 party for me. I couldn’t believe it. That’s why everyone had been so secretive in mosque, why everyone had “Gone Home”, and why the Indian Restaurant was “full” – it was all because of the party.
My sister had even brought the dress I had bought a while ago, which I had intended to wear for my Sweet 16. They had decorated the table with huge signs and party favours, and insisted that I wear the tiara they had bought. It was all so perfect – and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my birthday.
What made it even more special was the fact that my parents and my grandma stayed for the fun 🙂
The next morning, I was ready to start my day as a sixteen-year-old. I had planned out the whole day. I had wanted to go out for breakfast, take my driver’s test, go out for dinner, and then go to mosque. It was a simple, but fun way to celebrate my birthday.
However, nothing went according to schedule. I had planned to study for my driver’s test the night before, but of course I didn’t get a chance. Therefore, we had to skip going out for breakfast so I could review for the test.
I got to the Driver’s Licensing Office one hour before closing, just like the website had instructed. When we got there, the lady at the front desk told us they had stopped testing at 2 o’clock, and the current time was 4 o’clock. She said I would have to come back another day.
I was devastated – I had missed breakfast, and now I wouldn’t be able to get my license on my birthday either!
On the way home, we got stuck in a huge traffic jam, and got home too late to go out for dinner. We would have to go straight to mosque. Instead, we ended up having dinner after mosque – which I was totally okay with!
By the end of the day, I had decided that being half-way through my teenage years wasn’t a bad thing after all. It’s up to me to make the most of what I have left, and enjoy every second of it. I even created a “teenage bucket list” which includes random things I want to accomplish during my teenage years.
Looking back on the day, I realized that even though the day didn’t go according to schedule, it couldn’t have been more perfect. I ended up having a party, not being able to drive, and being able to cure my mid-teen crisis!