Sixteen Candles Make For Great Light

By Nicole Cobar

I have never been one to live in the moment. To me, the future has always been too exciting, too intriguing, for me to sit in the present. In my mind, I have continually planned- or more like daydreamed- about the future. I have always done this. For as far back as I can remember, I have sat in my room and thought about every aspect of my future life, from where I work, to different conversations I would have, and even how I would decorate my Manhattan apartment. My daydreams have become more sophisticated the older I’ve gotten, with more details and more advanced plots, I still remember my very first daydream and the person who ignited my excitement for the future: Hannah Montana.

I was five years old when I became totally obsessed with and completely mesmerized by Hannah Montana. She had the best of both worlds. She had a Malibu beach house, platinum records, sold out concert venues, a sports car, and a love triangle where she had to choose between a professional musician and a Hollywood movie actor. At the same time, she was just a normal teenage girl, who was living a wondrous life. For some crazy reason, I genuinely thought I would live a similar life when I became a teenager.

Seeing Hannah live her life as a teenager made me excited to become one. I thought teenage years were something magical; the greatest era of your life, with lots of friends, going on adventures together. This romanticized view of the teen years only strengthened when I started watching John Hughes’ films and saw Molly Ringwald live amazing lives in each movie. The one film that left an impact on me was Sixteen Candles because if even Samantha, an awkward and unpopular girl, can have fun and get the amazingly beautiful Jack Ryan to like her, then maybe I too could have memorable high school experiences.

A month ago, I turned sixteen. I had no plans. I didn’t even tell my friends that my birthday was coming up, because I didn’t want to celebrate this year. Honestly, it was a birthday I was dreading because I am not living the life I had envisioned since I was five years old. The little girl who daydreamed about a magnificent life had so many ideas, but I have failed to execute them. I feel like my five-year-old self would be disappointed. This is actually why I do not like celebrating my birthday; every year I turn older is just a reminder that I am not living the life I want to live.

But this year turned out to be the best birthday I have ever had. My dad took me to the mall and took me back home. When we got to the front door, which my dad asked me to unlock, just as I was about to put in the key, the door opened, and I saw my friend, Sumaiya, standing in the door frame. Then, she moved out of the doorframe and revealed 30 of my friends, screaming, “Surprise,” and spraying me with silly string. I was speechless. So many emotions fled my body at that moment: shock, amazement, but deep and genuine happiness. In that moment, I felt loved. The appreciation I have for my friends is indescribable. No one had ever done something like this for me. Just the thought that my friends and family spent the time to organize a party for me brings tears of happiness to my eyes. I might not be like Hannah Montana, living the best of both worlds, but I am living the best world, with the best friends I can ask for and the kindest people I have ever met.

Hopefully, five-year-old Nicole would be proud that I have filled my life such amazing and genuine people.