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Birthdays: Generally defined as a celebration of immersing more and more into the real world with each year. Our individual experiences from the previous years turn into compositions of groups that turn into communities, and then towns and cities, societies, and countries, constantly growing and expanding in one way or another. I always get nostalgic this time of year, and it just so happens that I had the privilege of traveling a few weeks before my age changed. It makes me wonder if my nostalgic ruminations have impacted how I view traveling through airports. Gosh, I love being up in the sky and seeing the beautiful view below, the possibility that anything beautiful is about to begin; the limbo of sitting at the window seat, desperately anticipating the arrival.

Something that I’ve noticed about airports is that you can put your feet up on the furniture, the long, lined-up chairs with dark blue faux leather, and no one will tell you that you can’t. You can walk around with your headphones in, listening to Harry Styles’ new album, and be amidst the hustle of rushing forward and changing gates and changing flights and going, going, going. All the while being seamlessly transported, bubbled up in your own little utopia–no judgment, no possession, just a personal soundtrack to your own observations.

Another thing about airports is that although I tend to take great comfort in the fact that so many people with so many different stories and lives are all together and moving anonymously alongside each other, I sometimes feel as if we are being herded like cattle. This thought crosses my mind every time I stand at the security checkpoint. I’m sure I’m not the only person who thinks this. Perhaps it is a weird thought, but I can’t help but think it every time I’m waiting for the line to move, when it’s too early for me to be thinking of anything else but napping on my flight.

We have to stand there and wait in long lines, single file, take off our shoes and trust our belongings to an x-ray machine. So many aspects of it all, and it’s exciting and it’s overwhelming at times, but at the end of the day, the point of the journey is to arrive safely at our gates. Taking our carry-ons and our suitcases with us. Wherever those gates may lead–to a loved one, a family member, a business trip, or a solo travel adventure, I think the point of it all is to take on the challenge and hustle and bustle so that we can come out of the other side a little better than we were before.

I think of these little musings as I ponder a little about myself becoming a little older in June. Gemini sun with my mind always in a million different places. Growing up has become very bittersweet for me.

I often take a good month or so leading up to my birthday to go over what I’ve done in the past year. In the first six months of this year alone I have accomplished so much, and I’ve gone on so many adventures. I love traveling and taking long road trips. Going to new places has always been a thrill for me, and I almost can never wait for the next time I get to go and explore somewhere new.

As I continue to think about where I’ve been and where I’ve gone and where I hope to go, I’m reminded of my humble beginnings too. I used to be obsessed with books, and I still am, but unfortunately, I don’t carve out enough time for myself to stay on that reading streak that I used to love so much. When I wasn’t able to go on a thrilling adventure, I would dive into books, and have my mind transported into fantasy worlds instead.

The tenth anniversary of my favorite book was on June 5th. The emotions surrounding that are truly unmatched. I think back to ten years ago when I was just a little teenager, picking that book up off the shelf for the very first time, having no idea what was in store. Time surely does fly by but it also stays just the same too. I feel like I am a completely different person and then I feel like I am much the same. Ten years ago I had not yet flown on a plane, something that I have come to love so much.

My favorite book is Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, by the way. I haven’t reread it in ages, but I always remember how that book made me feel. It was never just a book; it was a friend. I remember a lot of my friends at the time thought I was a little weird for loving a book so much, but sometimes, you read things and they make an impact on you. When something makes an impact on someone, I think it is important to listen to what that impact is.

I am so grateful that I get to take on the face of a new age, a new number, a new chapter. This past year has taught me so many things, and I can only hope that I can embody all of those lessons gracefully, and show up with kindness wherever I go. I’m usually pretty grumpy in the mornings without my coffee, or when I’m really hungry, but besides that, I think it is also enough to just try our best and keep moving forward. I’m trusting the universe with the hope that I am doing much better than I think I am, and I hope you can too.

I hope that I can travel again soon, somewhere that will be full of joy and full of adventure. Some new memories for me will grow in the garden of nostalgia when this time of year comes around again.

Much love.

Tiffiny Rose Allen is a writer and poet. Originally from the state of Florida, she started writing at an early age and self-published her first collection of poetry Leave The Dreaming To The Flowers at the age of 18. Her poetry is eclectic in portraying her views of the different aspects of life. When she is not somewhere writing, she is either creating something with her hands or working on anything and everything that excites her. You can find more of her work on Instagram @dreamsinhiding.writing or on her website

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