It’s been a year since I started telling you everything about my life on a weekly basis for this here magazine for teen girls. Crazy! This year just so happened to be my last as a teenager, and just like my PERISHING YOUTH, this column has an expiration date. It’s time for me to graduate from the Teen Girl Diary Zone and get old already.

This was the year when I finally got to live out my childhood dreams, such as living in a music venue, wreaking havoc in Los Angeles, throwing shows in my backyard, and actually enjoying school. I won my dream apartment and crushed on a dude or two and realized that since I live with my friends and my friends are always over, my life is actually a constant slumber party. Cross those off the list.

It did get real real, though, when things like theft and violence and money concerns started pushing through the security blanket of being young and protected from such worries. But it’s OK, because this harshness is inevitable–it’s part of the contract for becoming an adult. Good times are optional, and it’s on us to find them.

I liked sharing all of those ups and down with you each Wednesday. Thank you for being cool and nonjudgmental enough for me to put sometimes intense, sometimes embarrassing, sometimes stupid stuff here. And thank you for bearing witness to my first year of thinking, This is my life, and finally, it’s working. It wouldn’t have been as special without you. <3 ♦