Reflections on Turning 16

Sixteen laps around the sun! Woohoo! I know sixteen is supposed to be one of the big birthdays, like 18 or 21, but while I feel different than I did last year, there’s certainly not been some veil that’s been lifted in a journey to adulthood. But, still, I had a good day!

Me and Tahereh Mafi, Yallwest 2016

I’ve been writing book reviews since I was seven, which is more than half of my life. Book Reviews by Ava has served as a record of my growth- both as a reader/writer and as a person, and it is one that I am immensely grateful for. It is so gratifying to be able to look back on myself at seven, at ten, at thirteen, and now finally, at sixteen. It’s empowering to see myself face challenges and overcome obstacles through my writing and I can’t wait to chronicle the next chapter in my life.

Breakfast with Leigh Bardugo, 2014

I am lucky enough that my birthday coincides with the last day of spring break, so I get to spend it with both my family at home and my friends at school. I woke up fifteen, in bed at home, snuggled up to my cat, but went to bed sixteen, 300 miles away in my dorm, stuffed from red velvet cupcakes from dinner with friends. There’s no way I would have rather spent the day.

I’m excited to see what this year brings me. One thing I want to work on is writing more in ways that scare me. I’ve been making book reviews for almost nine years, and while absolutely will continue to write them, I also want to branch out into different posts such as updates on my life and travels, or reviews of nonfiction and maybe even some art. Plus, in the spirit on continuing to chronicle my growth, I realize I need to put myself out there with my writing. So, stay tuned. I’m sure there will be plenty of flops, but I hope a few good pieces will be mixed in, too.

Sitting at Pablo Neruda’s desk in Santiago, Chile, 2018. Stay tuned for further travels!

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