The Best Years of My Life

I’m graduating high school next month. OHMYGOSH. When did that even happen???? One hundred and sixteen long months of questions, papers, equations, projects, and late nights are all wrapping up in less than thirty days (give or take a few, haha). I’m going to be finished with high school. Finished with this phase of my life. Oh my gosh.


Me being silly with my sister.

Being seventeen is hard. Gosh, still being a high schooler is hard. Sometimes I feel so stuck. I’m not really an adult, but I’m no longer a child. It’s like those awkward early-teen years when you find yourself fluttering between the kids table, stacked with pbjs and animal crackers, and the adult table, where fancy food and wedding rings and sophisticated talks about mortgages and marriage abound. You just feel so in-between.


Me being silly with my bestie.

Sometimes, it’s hard to be content at this point in my life. I want to be doing things. To be working that much harder to accomplish something great with my life. Everything seems to be holding me back. School, commitments, age… I just want to close my eyes and wish on a star and wake up a few years older with a perfect boyfriend and a plan for my future and my whole life just together. (Or, in the words of Jenna Rink, “Thirty and flirty and thriving…”)


Me being silly with my other bestie!

And it’s true. Sometimes I get so caught up thinking about the ever-elusive future, that I forget I’m living in the present. I forget what it’s like to live in the present. In the here and now. In the amazing and fun world of a seventeen-year-old girl.


Me being silly with flowers.

My life isn’t super glamorous. I get zits every now and then and sometimes I fight with my parents occasionally I just get fed up and want to do something else and be something else. A grownup. A mature, responsible adult.


Me being silly while my friend looks on and thinks I’m crazy.

But if I was a mature, responsible adult, would I still be able to sit in bed and do my economics homework in my pajamas? Would I still be able to go to the movies with my friends and laugh so hard that the cranky love-birds in front of us threaten to kick us out, and the old people across the theater wrinkle their noses in delight that there are in fact some decent young people nowadays who appreciate a good Billy Wilder film? If I wasn’t seventeen years old, would I still dance around to “We Are Never, Ever Getting Back Together” and think it’s not-even-funny how extremely funny it is to put a goat in a Taylor Swift music video?


Me being silly while I clean the bathroom.

I have the whole rest of my life to chase after my dreams and climb mountains of success. I have (Lord-willing) years and years ahead of me to fill up with responsibility and stress and grown-up duties. But how much more time do I have to just be a kid. Granted, a very cool, very witty kid. But a kid nonetheless. In a few short months, I’ll be a woman. A very fun, very cute woman, obviously. But still. Time is ticking. How am I going to make the most out of this last month of high school?


Me being silly with my cousin. After eating waaaaay too much turkey.

I’m going to laugh.

I’m going to dance.

I’m going to sing at the top of my lungs and not care that I don’t hit a single note.

I’m going to stay up until four in the morning with my best friends, and then make loads and loads of waffles for breakfast.

I’m going to take pictures of myself doing weird, weird things.

I’m going to blush when I mess up and then get over it and get on with my life.

I’m going to live.

And I’m going to enjoy every second of it.



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  1. * Lily Gaines says:

    This was such an inspiring post Rachel! I’m only 15, but sometimes I need to remind myself that growing up isn’t all what it’s made out to be! This post was marvelous! Thank you for blogging about your feelings and struggles and silly moments 😀 (I know that that’s what blogs are for, but still, thanks) Reading your blog helps me learn that I’m not the ‘only one’ and that others’ lives are just as jam-packed as mine 🙂

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
    • * RachelC says:

      I’m so glad you were encouraged by it, Lily! Yes, even I (the “famous”, super-busy author) am just a silly teenage girl sometimes. 🙂 Haha.

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  2. * Tiffanie says:

    Wow, Rachel. That was really profound. It’s good to know even famous authors feel the same way about life. 😉 I’m 16 and I’ve been thinking about a lot of those things recently. ‘Just sit back and enjoy being a kid’ is the best advice I’ve heard, but I’d like to add something. I don’t think it’s all about being a kid. Sure, there will be those moments, but I believe the teen years is when we should be preparing ourselves for adulthood. Just my two cents. 😀

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Good advice, Tiffanie! I definitely feel prepared for adulthood–I have been very independent ever since I first became a teenager: working for myself, running my own business, and paying for all my own expenses, including my car. I’m just so wrapped up in being an adult all the time (at only seventeen!) that I need to remind myself sometimes to just have fun. 🙂

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  3. I know how you feel, Rachel. I was there, and am still kind of there, although I will be 19 next month. I still feel stuck between adult and teen, but don’t really know what to expect when I am an adult. Thank you for the reminder to live my young life, because one day (Lord-willing) I won’t be quite so young, and free…I hope you have a delightful graduation, and that God blesses you in amazing proportions in your life to come.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  4. I had a panic moment yesterday when I realized how many things I had to do for school and life. My mom says, “Aly, realize that you are writing two novels which for most people is a full time job, and you are a highschool student, and you prioritize family and God. You’ll do fine. Just. Don’t. Freak out.” I just took a deep breath. I have hard days and I’m the same with you, I forget to live TODAY for God. Thanks for encouraging me. I have read your story sense before your first book came out and it has impacted me. The way you are so upfront about what God is doing in your life has challenged me to do the same. Thanks, girl!

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Thank you so much, Alyson! You have no idea how much I needed those words of encouragement today. 🙂

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  5. * Jenna C. says:

    Oh gosh….that goat…. HAHAHA! Funnay! And Congrats to you graduating 🙂 You are totally one of my favorite authors..and I’m glad I found out about you!!! 😀

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Oh my gosh, you are so sweet! I’m glad you did, too!

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  6. * Hannah Elise says:

    Wow! I love it. You have definitely inspired me…. Lately I have had so much trouble being genuinely happy. I want to be silly again.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  7. * jamielynne82 says:

    Yes! Definitely enjoy life without rushing to be “old” and all “adult-ish.” There’s plenty of time to be an adult (I love it, but it’s stressful and sucks sometimes…no one seems to warn you of those shenanigans :).

    Oh and never never stop, laughing, dancing, singing, being dorky and living! I’ll be doing that even when I’m 80. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  8. Aw, I love this post! Good on you, Rachel. Most people your age would have wanted to do other ‘grown up’ stuff, but you are using the time God’s given you to be yourself. Good on you, you encourage me. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  9. * cait says:

    Awesome post! I decided I wouldn’t grow up and “be boring”. Mind you, I also decided to skip out on the whole growing up part and just be a writer (there is an awesome quote about that…somewhere). 😉 Those are such awesome pictures!

    I also look after my 2yr old nephew a lot of a lot. That way I can stay at the animal cracker table.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
    • * RachelC says:

      Mmmm-hmmm… It’s the whole “Peter Pan” complex thing. None of us want to grow up, we just want to keep pretending and using our imagination. 🙂

      | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  10. * Katia says:

    Thanks for the reminder. I feel so young, being only almost-fifteen, but I’m often too serious and worried about the future, too. It seems like everyone is. Thank you for the post! The pictures are nice too, of course. 🙂

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  11. I love this post! A lot of the time I feel like high school is holding me back from what could be endless (and really, really lonely, caffeinated) hours of writing, but then I remind myself that I am exactly where I’m supposed to be. I should be enjoying my life and being extremely awkward while I’m here. Whenever I do something weird, people will look at me like I’m nuts, but I don’t care. Let them think the girl who is having fun is a total psycho. 🙂 And excuse the non-hipster and totally outdated use of the term, but YOLO.

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago
  12. * Hannah says:

    Wow Rachel!!! 🙂 I loved this. Sometimes you mirror my thoughts perfectly in your blog posts. I am only 14 1/2 (That 1/2 is VERY important! 😉 You understand…;)), but I find myself thinking a lot of these same things. Isn’t growing up so much different, so much harder, and so much more beautiful than we ever imagined it would be?

    | Reply Posted 9 years, 1 month ago

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