It is so strange to notice yourself change. It is subtle, and can only be seen once it has happened, but it is odd when you suddenly realise. I have changed recently, or maybe I changed before and I didn't know. The change has been growing up. I have grown up, a bit, over the last few years.
I have noticed because I have come back for my last year of university and something feels different. I feel calm, and ready, and the pangs of missing home are not so great anymore. For the first time I didn't cry when my parents left. Which perhaps they will be sad to know, but also happy that they finally produced a functioning adult. Almost.
It feels funny because I am watching the first years wander around in that very lost, very frightened way with brave faces and I don't feel like that anymore. I feel different, in a good way. I don't need to put on a brave face because I feel brave, I have done brave things and given myself the reassurance that I can do almost anything I put my mind to. That's a fantastic change. It doesn't mean no more fear, but it does mean the fear is always conquerable.
Perhaps I am lucky because I have always been ready to move on at the exact right moment. Ready to move schools, ready to leave school, ready to finish university. Ready for the next bit, whatever that may be.
So I have changed, and grown up a bit. And it is such a lovely, reassuring feeling that I almost can't wait for it to happen again. And again. And again.