Golden Days {Farewell to Teenage Years +a Photoshoot}

Hello, dears!

Welp, today I officially turn twenty. O.o I feel so old, good gracious. So far my birthday has been amazing, especially the part where almost 30 of my friends sent me birthday videos that GAHHH made me smile so hard. If you’re reading this, dears – thank you for making my day X100. ❀ ❀ ❀ I love you girls so much!

*deep breath* Anyway, where was I? Oh yes. This birthday post is going to be one of my favorite kinds – a pretty golden hour photoshoot, because those make me happy. πŸ™‚ And instead of photo captions, maybe I’ll do kind of a “Thoughts On…” ramble about how it feels to not be a teenager anymore because whyyyy does everyone act like it’s terrible to be one? It can be, but it can also be wonderful. So yeah.

Let’s go for a walk and take pictures of flowers and chat about life. Let’s have a golden day, shall we?

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So… I’m not a teenager anymore, guys. Phew, I made it out of that dark tunnel, huh? I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Seriously, though, people seem to have a terrible opinion of the teenage years (and teenagers, unfortunately). Why?

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Why do we say “teenager” like a dirty word and shake our heads at those humans who have the misfortune to be between 13 and 19 years old? I have never understood that and still don’t, even from my high height of being newly twenty. πŸ˜›

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It makes me sad, because 1) sometimes they’re right and the teenage years are where things start to fall apart, but 2) sometimes they’re wrong, because those years can be… oh, just splendid! Why does no one talk about the good parts??

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Being a teenager is not inherently bad, anymore than being 5 or 32 or 98 is inherently bad. My friends, it’s not the number that’s attached to your respective year – it’s the way you use it. You know that as well as I do.

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I think the reason why the teenage years get such a bad rap is that there’s huge potential for disaster because so much changesΒ so fast. And the faster you drive, the harder you can crash. It’s easy to lean the wrong way around one of those sharp curves and fall out the door. Especially since, okay, you’re right, we kids don’t always have our seatbelts on. Oops.

But my goodness, the ride is exhilarating!

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Maybe I’m in the minority, but I honestly loved my teenage years. (Look at me sounding all mature. *shakes head*) Not every part of them, of course, but who loves everything about any age?

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My favorite part about being a teenager was the growing. It was exhilarating to grow so much physically and mentally and spiritually. I didn’t realize how thirsty I was until I saw that huge river to drink from. For me, being a teenager was expanding, was unfurling, was filling.

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All those books I read and those essays I wrote (ew) have grown me and changed me. So did the friends I made and the churches I’ve been a part of and my wonderful family I’ve lived with. Thank you to all the people who have pruned me and shaped me during the years when I was shooting up and blossoming. You have helped to make me who I am.

post 8

I guess I’m never going to be full grown, and that’s fine with me! I hope that changing never stops. I hope I will always look at the world with wonder because there’s so much to laugh about, cry about, learn about. There’s so MUCH. This life is full and overflowing with things to discover and people to love and an infinite God to get to know better. Isn’t that a marvelous thing?

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If growing up means that sort of wide-eyed, open-palmed, soaking-in, I want to grow up forever. I want to enjoy the process instead of slanting so far toward the result. It’s messy but I love it. I love it.

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I want to live so that in another ten years I can look back as I can now and say that I like the person God has grown me to be much better than the girl I was back then. I want to look back and see how every year was God’s faithfulness proved, whether by his strength in my weakness or his hand in my success.

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I want to keep growing. There’s so much more out there, you know? I’ve left those golden days behind, but it looks to me like the path ahead is glowing still. There are golden years ahead as well.

Make me ready, Lord. I’m ready to do it with you.

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*happy sigh* I loved taking these photos and writing this post and I hope you guys enjoyed it too. πŸ™‚ Thanks for reading my words for almost six years now and hopefully for many more in the future. Here’s to more sunshine and shadows and messy, beautiful life, my friends!

Am I officially an old person now? What are your thoughts on teenager-ness? What are or were the golden days for you?

Thanks so much for reading, dears, and have a lovely day!

***Allison***

P. S. Photos taken with my Nikon D3400 and a 35mm lens. Edited with picmonkey.com.

113 thoughts on “Golden Days {Farewell to Teenage Years +a Photoshoot}

  1. Ahhh, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I was actually just about to send you an email, then I saw this post and just decided to wish you a Happy Birthday here. πŸ˜‰ I hope you’ve had a wonderful & absolutely splendid day, and have a blessed and wonderful year! ❀❀

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  2. HAPPY BIRTHDAYYY πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³I’m glad you have such a positive opinion of your teenage years πŸ˜‰ and I’m excited to see what God has for you in the future! The photos are so pretty ❀

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  3. “My friends, it’s not the number that’s attached to your respective year – it’s the way you use it. You know that as well as I do.”

    you are a beautiful person and i wish you a most happy birthday and i absolutely wish this comment was half as expressive of how i feel, but alas. ❀ happy birthday!

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  4. WOW!! Happy birthday, Allison!! *throws confetti around and hands you a piece of cake* That is SOOO exciting!!!!! ❀ I wouldn't call you old at all, you're just oldER. πŸ˜‰ I am so happy for you and I pray that God will give you many more happy years! ❀

    Have a fantastic day!

    ~Esther

    P.S.
    The photoshoot was lovely. πŸ™‚

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  5. Aw, happy birthday, Allison! The time flies by so fast doesn’t it? I agree, the teenage years are not bad. I am 14 and a lot people say that I am different from most teens (and an old person in a teenager’s body! XD). I carry around a flip-up phone, have constructive hobbies, and enjoy school. πŸ˜€ Sometimes my friends think I’m weird, but hey, that’s how God made me! God has amazing things planned for you as you continue going on in life. Though the road is never easy, God is always by your side. Again, happy birthday! ❀

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  6. First of all, happy birthday!!!!!!!!!!!
    I love how positive and grateful you are! ^-^ And I totally agree with you about how every season of life is a season where we can grow and flourish in God. Alsoooo, the golden hour picturessssssss… They’re like, ahh so beautiful 😍

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  7. Beautiful pictures! They perfectly capture the growing season of Spring, much like how you’re still in the ‘Spring’ of your lifetime. Perfect! I think that determining whether one is ‘old’ or not depends on the eyes of the person who answers. To the old you are young, and to the young you are old. Funny how time works in people’s minds. πŸ™‚ Anyways, you’re finally old enough to say ‘back in my day..’ and ‘when I was your age..’ and not get funny looks! πŸ˜‚ Happy Birthday!

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    1. Ohhhh you’re right! That’s lovely. And I totally agree with you, ha ha! Of course I’m not really old, but it makes me laugh to think how old I am compared to a lot of my friends. πŸ˜› HAHA, yayyy. XD XD Thanks for the comment, dear!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Happiest of Birthdays, my dear friend! 🀍🀍 Reading this was such a treat, especially since I’m nearing this age too. It’s sooo hard to believe that we’ve been on this earth for this long, and I can’t wait to see what God’s plans are for the future.

    (Also, I’ve never understood why 18 is when you’re legally an “adult?” There’s still a “teen” tacked onto your name… Oh well πŸ˜‚)

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  9. HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALLISON!!!! and yes!! I totally don’t get why teenager is a “Dirty word!” We can’t control our age people!

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  10. My word, you are SO old. *ahem* I’M JOKING, I’M JOKING. Happy Birthday, Allison! You are an amazing person. XD Your toughest under the photos were the best, and very thought-provoking. Teen years can be hard, but hey. God brings us all through it, doesn’t He?
    Have the best birthday ever!! XOXO

    Cailyn

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    1. HAHAHA I KNOW, RIGHT? Thanks so much, Cailyn. I’m so glad you enjoyed the posts and yes! Teenage years can definitely be hard, but God can work wonderful things through them – and has done so for me, for which I am extremely grateful. ❀ Thanks again!

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  11. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!! πŸ₯³πŸ₯³πŸ₯³ congratulations on being 20! The photos you took are beautiful! I loved everything you had to say about the teen years, it was a huge encouragement because it seems like everyone’s take on it is negative. The teen years are definitely rocky, but that’s what makes them so exciting! I hope you have a wonderful birthday and many more !πŸŽ‚πŸ’•

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  12. You have a rare way with words. Reading one of these thoughtful, inspiring posts is always such a treat. So breathtaking. And I am so glad you have this opinion on your teenage years/teenagers in general. I still have three years of being a teenager, and I’m so glad, because I’m not ready to be done with them. I’m not ready to be 18 next year! But I’m trying to soak in the beauty and goodness that comes with change.

    HAPPY TWENTIETH BIRTHDAY!!! Your birthday is exactly ten days and three years before mine. I’m going tio be 17 on the 18th this month. πŸ˜€

    And no, you’re not in the least old. Getting old in age, body, and mind are very different things. People CAN choose to grow old, in my opinion. So think, feel, and be young at heart for as long as you can. I’m going to. It will be such a nice thing to have a young soul in an old body when I’m 92. πŸ™‚

    Again, Happy Birthday. I hope your 20th year is one of your best. ❀

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    1. Wow, thank you so much for this beautiful comment, Kendra! I love hearing from you. ❀ I'm so, so glad you enjoyed the post and YAY, I hope you enjoy your last three years of being a teenager!
      THANK YOUUUU! Oh really? How neat! Well, happy early birthday, my dear!
      Heh heh, thank you. *bows* I quite agree. I already had an old soul, but I don't really feel old yet. πŸ˜‰
      Thank you so much once again, dear. I appreciate it!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, I guess what I mean by young soul, is never being to old to have a child-like wonder and fascination by nature, the night-sky, and the simple pleasures in life. But I have an old soul in some ways too; as in, I like tradition, classic books, that sort of thing. πŸ™‚

        Thank YOU! This comment made my day twice as happy. <33

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  13. Happy Birthday!!!
    This was one of my favorite golden hour posts. And, you’re right, I often wonder why teenage years are looked on as awful. The days are often only as awful as you decide that they are, really.

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    1. Thank you so much, Olivia. ❀ Ah, yay! YES, I totally agree! Sometimes bad circumstances can make them awful out of your control, but a lot of it is up to the user's discretion, heh heh.

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  14. Happy birthday, Allison! And love your thoughts and perspective on teen life and moving ahead.

    One thing that I love about the religious Jewish culture (I’m not Jewish, but am living in Israel right now) is that once a man or woman reaches the age of 13 there is a huge celebration for them and they are welcomed into adulthood. From then on they are treated and looked as an adult. I love this so much and I would love to encourage this idea with my own kids someday.

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    1. Thank you so much, Hannah!
      Aw, that’s so neat! Actually one of our friends was going to have a Bar Berakah (is that spelled right? XD) except it was cancelled due to COVID19. :/ It does seem like a great tradition!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. 1. Happy birthday (a day late, my apologies!)
    2. This post. I want to keep it printed out forever, folded up on my desk, and take it out to examine the lovely photos and the truth behind your sentiments. ❀

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  16. Oh Happy Birthday!! This post is such a treat! I just LOVE the way you use light in your photos! I’m aspiring to start taking nature photos myself and yours are so inspiring!

    Also, I was going to say that age is just a construct and I still aspire to never act my age! Having said that though, I did feel like a stalker reading some of the comments from lovely people that are about 1/3rd my age!! πŸ™‚

    I think you’re right though, time goes on and its passing is bittersweet…I miss the time that has gone by, but the growing, learning, and perspective that comes with each new season is always so fascinating! My son asked me once if I want to go back to being a kid and I could honestly say No! The learning process is priceless but I don’t know if I’d want to go back through it all again.πŸ˜…There’s so much to still look forward to!

    Congratulations on your continued success, I always look forward to your posts! πŸ’•

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    1. Eeep thank youuu for the wonderful comment! I’m so happy I can inspire you. ❀
      Ah, that's WONDERFUL that you are content and happy with just where you are. I loved being a kid but I love growing up, too. There are good parts (and bad parts) of all of it, but I don't want to go back and do it again because that's past now!
      I'm so happy you like my posts, and thanks again for the wonderful comment!

      Like

  17. Happy Birthday, Allison!!!! *throws confetti* These photos are so stunning, and the words you’ve written are so beautiful. πŸ’›

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  18. Happy Happy Happy Birthday Allison! πŸ™‚ I am so glad that I was able to be “a part” of your special day through a video! I hope that you had a very special day! It definitely will be a year to remember! πŸ˜€ Sending hugs your way! πŸ˜€

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  19. Happy Birthday, sweet friend!! God has such amazing things for you in this new season of your life!! So thankful for your sweet friendship! Such a good post and all of the photos were so beautiful!
    *hugs to you sis
    -kaelyn πŸ˜›

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  20. Happy birthday! I also love the golden hour and you captured it beautifully. I turn 20 on May 22nd, so I appreciate your thoughts… they make me wish I had spent them better! ❀

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  21. Wow, I don’t think I know 30 people? XD But I’m so glad you loved it! I was so honored to be asked to be a part of it! ❀
    Yeah…I felt that way about teenagers even when I WAS still a teenager. XD And then when I turned 20 I finally felt like I wasn't a hypocrite anymore. But I never acted "like that" and never understood people my age who did, so… XD
    Wow, that car metaphor was so perfect! My writer brain really appreciates the imagery, and also that it's so so true.
    Wow…I wish I could look at the world and the future with such wonder the way you do. But now I'm feeling like I lost that way too young. :/ I think my "golden years" might have been a couple of years during my teenage years, but I don't know. I really hope they aren't supposed to be now. My early 20s have been rough so far. I'm already so sick of having a constant existential crisis. XD
    I'm glad you had a really happy birthday despite the current situation, and I hope it gets even better from here on out!

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    1. Aww, ha ha! Well the neat thing was, it was from different times in my life – so, like at least one from when I went to private school, several from my old church, some cousins, and then some friends currently and people from my new church. It was so fun to see them all together! I LOVED your video, dear. ❀
      Ha ha, I knooow! Same here!
      Well THANKS. ❀
      Aww, I'm so sorry. :/ Of course, please know I don't ALWAYS feel that way. I most definitely have days where everything feels boring and unwonderful. But I'm practicing seeing beautiful when I don't want to because life is just a lot more enjoyable that way. πŸ™‚
      Yeah, I think same for me. Aww, I'm so sorry to hear that. πŸ˜₯ I'll bet better days are ahead, dear. ❀ ❀
      Thank youu! Yes, me too! And thanks for the lovely comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  22. Yeeeeeeep!! Allison this post was absolutely magnificent. ❀ Thee way you can put thoughts into words and then make them so that they seem to just jump off the page and, ugh, I don't know how to put it into words, but this was wonderfully beautiful. Thank you so much for it!! ❀ ❀ And happy birthday!! πŸ™‚

    -Laura ❀ πŸ™‚

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  23. I love this so much. While I’m not yet finished with my teenage years, they have been an amazing season of growth, with tears of both joy and pain. “If growing up means that sort of wide-eyed, open-palmed, soaking-in, I want to grow up forever.” My thoughts exactly… and I believe I shall. πŸ™‚ Thank you for this.
    -Laurel

    Like

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