‘a settling into one’s own. Proudly embellishing youthfulness and declaring a warning to those who might not be wary enough. Welcome to 19.’

* Able or likely to cause harm or injury.

* Likely to cause problems or to have adverse consequences.

(Stream Ayra’s Debut Album; 19 & Dangerous while you read! Link at the bottom. )

What does it mean to be truly Dangerous?

The act in itself is an inherent potential to cause a disruption. To Scatter everywhere.

To provide an easily relatable interpretation; it describes scenarios that are risky and could possibly lead to adverse consequences. A calamity. In a general sense, it evokes caution to avoid harm. Compellingly activates one’s Spidey sense. But from a youthful flair; the perspective taken is somewhat unconventional. It’s quite drab to be a textbook hero, if you ask me. Infamy, I find, is far more dashing experience. Intrigue gives a better sense of my style.

To be dangerous is to exude respect. Inherently embodying mystique. The manifestation of your inner Aura Ranger.

Looking back at it now, Ayra Starr was casually dropping hot nuggets of wisdom like it was nothing back in 2021. Flexing her expertise with ease to those discerning enough.

As I now write to you, esteemed readers, just turned nineteen, like freshly pressed paper of the print, I have come to a realisation of some sorts:

To be nineteen is synonymous with being outlandish. The art of being Audacious.

Walk with me.

The whole time I was eighteen, felt like the sensations of starting secondary school again. The typical ‘Jolly Just Come’ (JJC) experience. Automatic Fresher status. To put it best to you would be to imagine standing at the very centre of a stage with the spotlights directly focused on you. Being slightly dazed and confounded by the sheer brightness of it all. It’s an eye-opener in the very least.

You’re quite literally shoved into the real world. The fabled floodgates of freedom are open and are spilling out. Readily prepared or not, you begin to see things objectively. That is, for what they are and what they could potentially be. It’s overwhelming, in a sense, having so much information thrown at you. Everything, from everywhere and all at once.

It’s a never-ending series of teaching experiences. There’s always something to learn and add to your repertoire. Nothing is ever inconsequential; it all counts for something eventually.

The thread is now visible. Every conscious decision adds a notable detail to your tapestry. The people you meet, the interactions and exposure all add a mile to the journey along the way. As you progress in the timeline, you’re forced to come to grips with the repercussions of your actions. Processing and reconciling with the outcomes. The undertaking of real responsibilities.

It’s no surprise that you’re officially recognised as an adult (almost everywhere) on your 6,574th day. I take it that (assumptions, here) it’s the crowning moment where your mind is expected to spring open and flourish (in a poetic sense).

Make no mistake though: at eighteen, you’re an adult only in name really. That’s the amusing thing, you could be mature and comfortably on top of things at way younger, but it doesn’t matter. This is the age that it is actualized. It brandishes a name to your achievements. The title is a ticket into the big leagues. That’s when you tussle for the bedazzled belt.  

Throwing your weight, deftly cutting your cloth to your size, and making your collection with it. These are essential in establishing yourself.

Your heroic or dastardly quest through life begins. It is quite obviously your path to make and tread.

Being 19 a completely different ballpark, though. At this juncture you’re no longer testing waters. Now, it’s all about adopting new swimming strokes. The stakes are that much more complicated. It’s no longer a game of draughts. It’s full-blown 3-d chess.

It’s not a widely celebrated age, but I still consider it a crucial one. Due to the formative nature, it cultivates. All this is probably my bias taking dominance, but I strongly believe it’s a solidification of all I’ve been through as an eighteen-year-old. The hues and shades blending in to form a distinct colour.

For most of us, we’ve taken the experiences of the previous year and have already drawn up a vivid concept and its subsequent execution. How to deal with people, channeling things to work out in your favour, and cementing your ideal lifestyle. These are the questions that should swirl around in your mind at 19. Finely arranged with details (however large or minute) to achieve a desired outcome. This part I can testify for myself at least.

To me, it’s wielding the heady, intoxicating power you feel. The one that comes hand-in-hand with your freedom. The ultimate creative expression. In time this evolves and transcends through one’s identity.

After all that talk, What’s next?

Seeing as we have such an outstanding template to take inspiration from (being Ayra’s beautiful body of work), we can take some refreshers on how to indubitably level up.

Plant your feet at the right angle. The placement is key. Centre your gravity and take that leap of the board. We’re diving into the deep end. How to make the last year of teenager hood a hit.

To be 19 is to;

* Take up Space.

Every single being is entitled to their own space. Their realm to occupy and shape as they see fit.

It’s an extremely difficult thing, to create room for yourself in a world filled with so many people (talking billions here). You need a certain kind of assurance and conviction to take that stance. An extreme gnawing hunger.

Our society is quite vocal in letting you know that you shouldn’t stand out. It’s all in your face with that. You’re encouraged to be mediocre. To emit a dull glow. Know your place, be one with the crowd. All that tepid rubbish. It’s quite redundant don’t you think?

Then why do we permit that?

Desperately antagonising those who dare to be defiant. Choosing to express themselves as they rightfully should. It’s fundamentally a flawed concept when one really deeps it. Despite how similar people can be, each person is intrinsically different. That is an undeniable fact of human nature. It’s kind of backwater to repress identity and individuality. Making them fit into a mould that doesn’t suit their form. To take up your space is to plant your roots. Establishing your stance is the perfect segue to starting adulthood on the best note. Prioritise that and find expression there.

As much as the world might oppose it.

* Consider the possibilities.

If one door doesn’t open, there’s a window waiting to be jumped through.

It’s quite very simply to center all your options to one single variable. It’s considerably the safest option out there. But it is rather close minded, true talk.

For the longest time, I never understood the term; ‘Don’t put all your eggs in one basket’. Because why can’t we just follow a plan? Especially when you put the most thought and effort into it. But life hit me with a 360 (as it usually does) when I didn’t get to study where I wanted to. Which is a canon even for most people really.

What I’m trying to illustrate is that there’s always another route. Set in stone or made with brute force, a way is a way. Nothing changes that. Keeping all our options open let us see things from a bird’s eye view.

What if I don’t get this job? Are there other avenues to explore?

With the current trend of things in the world, sh*t can go sideways at a moment notice. When you’re filled with unshakable audacity, you naturally lean towards the inconceivable. The average eye sees a wall, but you see an obstacle to scale. Either by parkour, pole or climbing there are endless possibilities to clearing your path. Be informed and aware about the whole situation before you finally lock in.

Be radical.

* Look Madness in the eyes.

To view chaos in its full force is to see the deepest truth of things (said someone, probably.)

There’s science that applies to this equation. An influx of stimulation is received with an equal, immediate adapting of the mind. Gears turn and neurons gather and disperse to create sustainable to means to an end. The (your) brain is then progressively expanding.

Employing a more practical view, we can postulate that when you’re faced with an incredibly out of pocket situation, there’s a change in reasoning. You’re processing a multitude of outcomes based on varying predetermined actions.

That’s why the MC always unlocks new reserves of power in life-or-death events (Case 1: Every Goku Opp). It’s a surefire means to elevating your expertise. Actual Battle Experience.

With the state of the world, there is a high chance of encountering the few that roam out of the many mad people scattered around. These are the things that shape your reasoning.

Being sane is overrated tbh.

* Avoid Rubbish

‘Sometimes you gotta pop out and show niggas’

                                                                                               -Kendrick Lamar

There’s a time for peace and in turn, war.

Knowing when to choose the spear or shield is where discretion shines brightest. The obvious (frustrating) truth is that there will always be conflicts. Disparity in interests. The greatest stories are born from thematic clashes, history has proven in several instances. (Case 2: The Woman King).

You’re always going to be faced with gut-wrenching confrontations. They are going to make you uncomfortable and distraught. But that’s the point. A little inconvenience right in front of you to avoid a larger struggle in the future. What doesn’t kill you now, might later.

When you let disrespect fester, it builds up and multiplies like a persistent bitter virus. Slowly invading and conquering your defences (a bit dramatic, but true). Constantly extending the yardstick to letting people cross your boundaries only makes things worse for you. The moment your gates are encroached, there’s no room to breathe and just be.

The most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is actively protecting your peace. Safeguarding it 24/7. Because when that is lost, everything slowly falls apart, like a chain of dominoes. Expertly removing yourself from toxic situations or alternatively toughing it out through controversy, ensures that your mental health and sanity stays in top form. Despite how close someone might be; once they start to move funny, take a step back and observe.

Get tactical and deal with a sharp fury.

* Accept your vulnerabilities.

Emotional Intelligence is key to properly navigating the perilous challenges life will throw at you. The takeaway is that you are supposed to feel very deeply as a human being. It’s at the very essence of our being.

You’re not less of person because you are affected and hurt by a rection. An acceptance of that presents a higher sense of maturity. Being able to identify, observe and acknowledge whatever is felt and its effects speaks of a deeper understanding of oneself. There’s no use in denying and shoving away emotional baggage. If anything, it guarantees an eventual implosion. To every individual there are existing personalised strengths and weakness. We are not defined by our pros, but rather by the means we counterbalance the flaws we are dealt with.

Being sensitive exemplifies growth and an ability, to properly take in the scene of an environment and act accordingly. Accurately comprehending cues and hints helps you stay at top engaging in a social setting.

After all, who doesn’t love someone who has it all figured out?

* Enjoy Failing.

There’s no better rush than the comeback from after a massive L; that’s the thing: even the grind respects failure. The act of engaging in any process is a lesson. It is cumulative to a larger unseen, far off goal. Each motion taken in either the right or wrong direction is a checkpoint towards completing the search for treasure. To undertake any task properly requires you to have an insight to the context that it exists in. A return from a setback adds to the parcels of wisdom you collect along the way.

Undoubtedly, life is cause and effect. With this principle applied in rising from a defeat, an accurate guideline to success is created. There’s a plethora of things to discover from the act of flopping.

Anyone can find it rather convenient to term failure as a defeating encounter. Many don’t realize it’s a step forward (ironic isn’t it, moving back to push further) in formulating development. You can’t properly appreciate and revel in a win if you haven’t grappled with the soul-crushing emotions that come from a washout.

Celebrate the failures and disappointments because they gave you your incredible wins.

* Have the best time.

Open your life, open your canters, sip from your bottle and vibe

– Cast, Ayra.

What’s the very point of being dangerous if you don’t live as such?

To channel youthful energy and seek the thrills in life is the very motive behind being wild. By doing this one discovers the many joys the world has to offer.

Remember there’s no place to conveniently shop for years gone by.

There are many complex layers to explore at this age. It’s so multifaceted and diverse. With such limitless options and dynamic experiences, you can be who you want to be completely uninhibited. You are a source of inspiration and potential, wield it as you see fit.

A big part of being 19 is coming terms with the possibility that everything might not be fine. That there will be days where you’re full of conviction and days where it all seems unsure.

Just know it’s part of the incredible, bumpy ride.

Apple Music


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