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JULY 26, 2017

Friday night I came home from a long day of work, fed up with the words crammed in my head and with people talking at me, asking me questions. I came home, and I made dinner. I only ate half of it before climbing into bed to take a 7 p.m. nap.

I was out for about an hour or so, and then I woke up, my mind alive with thoughts. I was thinking about frozen yogurt and boys.

I was certain of two things: I wanted Yogurt Park and I didn’t want to be alone.

I texted my roommate who was in the other room. She saw my text and came over to talk. Our other roommate was on speaker phone, and for a moment it was like we were all together. My loneliness was put to rest. I still wanted the Ghirardelli chocolate frozen yogurt with cookie dough, rainbow sprinkles and brownies on top and mixed throughout.

After we hung up the phone, we headed out toward Durant Avenue and Unit 3, my freshman year home full of memories. I looked up at the building I called home and wondered who might be living in that small room with a view that used to be mine. I glanced at Cafe 3, a place that I only frequented for the tater tots, french toast and pizza. I remembered nights on benches with friends. I could almost see the pack of us, eight or ten total, walking out of the dorms to a party somewhere in Berkeley.

I remember being a timid freshman, feeling out of place in those atmospheres. It took me some time to get acclimated. But I think it’s the people that I am with that make it more exciting. It’s when I am taken by surprise that I have the most fun.

We crossed the street and wandered our way into the small brightly lit shop.

My roommate tried to talk to me, to draw the words out of my head and to help me make sense. I replied because she had been kind enough to take me to get frozen yogurt and she is my friend. She lets me be myself and that is all I could ever ask for.  

We talked about boys, past and present. We took silly selfies and laughed so much that I felt full.

On our way back up the hill to our house, she was telling me she wanted to go out to the bars in San Francisco. I felt iffy. I didn’t want to be out in “the city,” up late and wild.

But this is what happens every time. I go because I don’t want to be alone. This time, it worked in my favor. I actually had fun somehow. We drove across the bridge, stood on stage under the lights of a karaoke bar, and took the night by storm. It was the ultimate bonding moment.

And, of course, there were boys, but that is another story.

Her and I were both born in July 1996. Our birthdays are only two days apart. We have been celebrating all month, and now we are less than a week away from being 21 (actual goals). I am excited. We have been having adventure after adventure. Hiking, ear piercings, nail salon dates, pizza, ice cream, parties, laughs and late-night talks.

Times like these, when I want to be boring and stay home but I go out and end up having a good time, make me glad I don’t listen to myself sometimes. I would have missed so many great moments and opportunities. Sometimes, listening to different voices is worth it, if in the end, I find my own.

There is a different Morgan deep inside of me that I am just getting to know (a girl that I never thought I would be when I was eighteen and that is a good thing). And I hope that I will become more acquainted with her in my 21st year. This is the girl who takes chances, who goes forth in bravery, who sings in front of crowds with confidence.

I am proud of her. I am her.

Morgan writes the Wednesday column on risk-taking. Contact her at [email protected].

JULY 24, 2017