The familiar taste of safety


Olivia Brost

Fifth grade Olivia, bundled up on a crisp morning, ready to successfully help her fellow classmates cross the bewildering street, that seemed so complex and scary at the time.

Olivia Brost, News Editor

Seven-year-old me couldn’t wait to be older than I was. To be able to walk across the street independently without the eye of an older guardian looking over my every move. 10-year-old me couldn’t wait to be one of the older girls, the ones I looked up to so much. The girls in the grocery stores who dressed in all the new clothes and wore the cute shoes that their moms bought them because their feet had finally stopped growing. 13-year-old me couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel and drive into tomorrow. But now, 17-year-old me is skeptical of the world awaiting my arrival.  

For as long as I can remember, I have been aching to escape this town and explore the world for myself, yearning to experience a new taste, different from the one I’ve known my whole life. My independent streak started young and hasn’t ended since. This has led me to strive to accomplish every simple task myself in life, free of help from people around me and finding more comfort in my own solitude than in a group of my peers. I always looked up to those older than me, wishing to be a little taller, a little braver, a little more understood and a little more free. 

I long for that feeling of freedom; doing whatever I want, whenever I want with whoever I want. Like staying out until the sun peeks through the trees as it scrapes the horizon, and going on a spontaneous road trip to the next state over, simply because I can. But when I embark on my new journey, and leave my so familiar town behind, what comes next? What happens when I can no longer come home to my cozy room, loving parents and a fresh meal followed with a family dinner? What about when life gets hard and I can no longer turn to that safe, familiar feeling of unconditional reassurance given by my high school teachers who actually care about my success and my own well-being? Soon, I will have to make my own appointments, keep track of my own events and learn how to decipher what the little flashing lights on my car dash truly mean. 

Amongst all the yearning for a taste of freedom, I’m not afraid to admit I’m afraid to leave the comfort of my home, my school and my town. All of that familiarity comes with the same familiar taste of safety I have been accustomed to for so many years. 

Younger me didn’t know what the world held and how quickly time would pass. Now, older me can not handle feeling so free, just wanting to savor the taste of safety for a little while longer.