i don’t really remember the predictions i made for sixteen at the this time last year. but i know they were probably quite high after fifteen. sixteen got off to a really rough start. the first six months were pretty brutal, but i got through them and they’ve changed me for the better. i needed that reality check to put me back on my feet and make a name for myself as an independent individual. and i have. this past year, i’ve really found out who i am and where i want to go. i have plans for the future and people i’ve grown so close to whom i want to be in it. junior year has been one hell of an adventure. it’s been the best year of high school so far. and even though derrick and i have had our ups and downs. i’ve had plenty of ups and downs with my best friends. i grew away from some friends. and i grew closer than ever to some friends. it’s still been an amazing ride that i wouldn’t trade for anything else. late nights, sleepy days, i’ve been working my ass off to not only get the grades i want, but to improve on my own self esteem as well. the past three months have been devoted to me living a healthier lifestyle. eating better, exercising more, and making more of an effort to be happy. it really helped me build the confidence i have today that i’ve never had before. i’m not going to lie and say that at the beginning of this journey, i was planning on just getting heathy though. i wanted to lose the weight. i wanted to prove to myself that i can accomplish something. i can push myself to my limits and make a difference. never again will it be “when i’m fifteen pounds lighter.” it’ll just be “i am going to be fifteen pounds lighter.” [that doesn’t go to say that i want to lose another fifteen pounds at all, don’t be concerned, i’m not insane.] to this day, i weigh a proud 116 pounds, one pound away from my fifteen pound goal, but i’m not complaining. i’m no longer concerned with losing weight as much as just getting toned and distributing my weight to other places. i feel incredible and beautiful and confident and happy. seventeen will be…well i can’t really say yet. it’ll be really hard being away from derrick. really hard is one of the biggest understatements i’ve made in my life. but you know. senior year. i’ll find ways to distract myself and have an amazing time with my friends and not waste any time that i have left with them. and i’ll trust that derrick and i will be alright. and i know that no matter what happens, we’ll find our way back. we always do. now that summer is getting closer though, as excited as i am for school to be over and to begin probably one of the best summers of my life, i’m scared that it’s just going to go by in a second, and derrick and i will have to face our future soon. until then, we’ll live every moment together like it’s our last, and i’ll enjoy seventeen as it comes along. i’m not going to set up expectations because i’ve learned that it never goes well, so i’m trying this “go with the flow” thing and seeing where it takes me.