Last Thursday in my Sociology 101 class, our teacher read us a story that really pierced my heart. The title was "Eleven" and if you'd like to read the pdf of it, here is the link.
This story explained a lot of my childhood feelings and as I was listening, I knew I could've written the exact same story.
And so I decided I would.
Seventeen. It was supposed to be an amazing birthday.
I woke up that day and grinned from ear to ear as I got ready and headed off to school.
Seventeen. The day I was supposed to be older and wiser, braver and happier.
I wanted life to change that day. I wanted to start over and become the person who was fighting to get out.
Seventeen. The day I came home from school and had a huge fight with my parents. The day I felt the opposite of brave and happy. The day I considered that death might be better than life because life hurt too much.
Seventeen. The day I didn't know if we would be celebrating at all. As the tears poured down my cheeks, I hugged my pillow and wanted to be eighteen...or maybe five. But not seventeen.
Seventeen. The day we made up long enough for dinner at the restaurant of my choosing. It was the day I tried steak for the first time and fell in love with it, if it's possible to fall in love with food.
But when I laid down to go to sleep that night, I was confused. Because seventeen didn't change anything about me. In fact, a lot of my reactions from that day had come from a younger me.
Someone must've forgotten to explain that when I was seventeen, I was also three. I didn't lose that age just because a new one started.
I am not just twenty-seven.
I am twenty-six, twenty-five, twenty-four, twenty-three, twenty-two, twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one.
When I am in need of extra attention and I feel stupid for wanting that, I try to realize that it's ok. Because along with being twenty-seven, I'm also nine.
I want to embrace five year old me who used to cry because her knee got scraped. And ten year old me who used to cry because her friends weren't being very nice. And sixteen year old me who used to cry because she just wanted a boy to notice her. And twenty-six year old me who was found sobbing on her friend's shoulder one afternoon in late August of 2013.
Emotions are healthy.
So today I am twenty-seven. But I am also twenty-six, twenty-five, twenty-four, twenty-three, twenty-two, twenty-one, twenty, nineteen, eighteen, seventeen, sixteen, fifteen, fourteen, thirteen, twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three, two, and one.
And that is never going to change.