Grow Up

Getting older and growing up are to completely different things. Getting older is getting taller and growing pains. It’s bleeding and shaving and meeting new people.Getting older is having fun and learning and making mistakes. Getting older is living.

Growing up is pain. It’s learning from your mistakes and standing on your own. It’s knowing when to accept help and when to cut your losses. It’s making your own decisions and living with the consequences. Growing up is wishing you didn’t care so much when it hurts and walking away before you say something you’re not sure you’ll regret.

There are some people who live in a blissful little bubble where they never have to grow up. Others have to grow up too fast and get scarred by it. Still others are the unfortunate souls who grow up quickly, but are children of those who were scarred.

Why won’t she let me grow up…?

Song of the Day: “Shatter Me” by Lindsey Sterling

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Struggling

How do I talk to my mother without feeling like a child? How do I get her to stop talking down to me even though I’m almost taller than her? How do I make her see that I can make my own decisions now?

I get that I’ll always be her baby. I’m her second child, and my father’s fifth. I’ve always been the one who stayed at home when everyone went out. That might be part of her overbearing attitude.

She never put up this much resistance when my sister went to college. Maybe because they’re so much alike she can easily follow my sister’s thought process. Maybe because my sister’s desires are more concrete in her mind. Maybe because my sister didn’t want to go as far away as I do.

But I’ve always been the more independent child. I’ve always been more self sufficient. More often than not, I’m the one taking care of everyone else’s needs. How do I tell her that it’s my turn?

How am I supposed to broach the “I don’t need you as much as I used to” conversation? How do I tell her that I know where I want to be? How do I tell her that she’s smothering me?

How do I tell her that I can’t won’t live like this for another four years?

Persistence Running

There are so many things I wish someone had told me about high school. I wish someone had told me how many people wanted to see me fail. I wish someone had told me how many real friends I would find. I wish someone had told me how many people were going to turn their backs on me.

I wish someone had told me what classes would be like. I wish someone had told me how crowded the hallways could get. I wish someone had told me how little time I would have to myself. I wish someone had told me how hard picking a college would be.

I wish someone had told me how alone I would feel sometimes.

There are a lot more things I wish I knew. Too many to name in a blog post. So, I’ve decided to write a book about it.

During the month of April I will be participating in the Camp NaNoWriMo challenge. I’m going to try to write a fifty thousand word book in thirty days. My book is called Persistance Running: How to Get Through High School From a Girl Who Almost Didn’t.

Wish me luck.

Song of the Day: “Letter to Me” by Brad Paisley 

Irrational

I am in the middle of an anxiety attack. Again. It’s been happening a lot over the last year. Graduation is coming up and my grades are shit and my senior dues aren’t paid off yet and I have to pick a college but my parents are completely against my first choice and oh shit I have a paper due in an hour and I don’t know what to write about I don’t even like poetry and I’m failing three classes and –

Stop. Pause. Breathe. Blow a few bubbles. Shead a few tears. We don’t have time for this.

But school ends in a couple months and I don’t have a job yet and everyone is against the career that I want and I haven’t done my behind the wheel classes and we need to order club shirts soon and and and

stop breathe This isn’t helping. Write the paper. Go to sleep. You’re making your infection worse.

I can’t get sick I already have too many assignments to make up and no time to do it I don’t even have time to sleep and I’m drowning and nobody is on my side and I can’t calm down and I’ve got nowhere to go and my hair is falling out and I can barely type through the tears and I can’t breathe

STOP Brad is on your side. Lindsay is on your side. So are Paris and Helen and Christina and Cierra and Kevin and so many others. Don’t look at the clocks. Don’t look at the papers. Don’t look at your emails. Don’t think about dance class or fund raising or class or parents. Be selfish for a moment. This moment is about you.

You are seventeen. You are in the last two months of your senior year. You are at the beginning of the rest of your life. You are beautiful and intelligent and stubborn and loving so much stronger than this moment.

Write your paper. Go to sleep. Talk to your counselor tomorrow.

Beauty

It has been so long since I’ve been here on WordPress. With school and life and work and family my nerves have become so ridiculously frayed that I haven’t even found the time to write anymore. And I think that’s what really brought me this wake up call. That the one thing I do that I don’t need other people to see or hear or acknowledge, the one thing that’s so deeply engrained in my soul that I can’t remember a life before it, has been pushed to the back burner on the whims of people I don’t even like for things I don’t even want to do.

I saw a few videos on YouTube this morning. One was a Dove ad about how 6/10 girls don’t like their natural hair. The second was another Dove ad showing how girls quit activities they enjoy because they don’t like how they look or how other girls are better at it. The third was by Gillette Venus. It talked about the Power of &.

The Power of & describes a broader spectrum of women. We’re not just pretty faces, dresses, and high heels. We’re writers & poets & athletes & singers & scholars. We are multi-facited creatures with interests beyond the superficial, but advertisements only show women at either end of the spectrum. The women are either fancy, partying, and on the runway or hands-on, getting dirty, and being active.

Our society is not in a good place when our girls are shown that they have to choose between girly and hands-on, that there is no both or inbetween. When naturally curly hair is seen as a blemish rather than a blessing. When who we are becomes taboo because it’s out of the box.

I looked in the mirror after seeing these videos, sick of a culture I wasn’t even aware of. Because while other women were criticizing every pore and line of their faces, all I saw in my mirror was a pretty face. I saw wide eyes and high cheeks. I saw dusk skin darkened further by time spent in the sun and lips still stained by the lipstick I wore the other day. I saw a face I was proud to have, a juxtaposition of active and girly.

I’d just watched videos of women who are prettier than I am describing themselves in unattractive ways because there wasn’t a model that fit everything that they were.

Everyone can’t fit into the same box. Especially not society’s box. That box only has space for the thin, young, and wrinkle-free.

But rolls and wrinkles and scars and blemishes are what makes us beautiful. They carve stories into our bodies that our voices can’t express. They give extra meaning to everything we do. They say “I’ve done something with myself that I’ve never done before and here’s my souvineir.” They say “I have lived my life.” And that’s the most beautiful thing about them.

So if you don’t fit into a box you see, make a new one all for yourself. And tell somebody something positive about them. Say you like their smile or their shoes or their makeup or their hair because that thing you say may be all they need to hear to start seeing themselves in a new light.

Song of the Day: “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars

Down To The Wire

It seems that people are more hypocritical when you’re a teen than at any other point in your life.

“Remember your homework!”
“Do your chores!”
“Didn’t I tell you to do that before!”

These are all things I hear on a day-to-day basis, and yet my teachers say “Oh, I forgot your assignment at home, it’ll be graded soon.” Knowing that this one assignment could make or break some students’ grades. My mother comes home and gets comfortable before groaning like we all do when we forget something and saying “Oh, I’ll do it tomorrow.” Like she has for the past three days. My father has said that he would do things, and forgotten about them. This is the second year that I haven’t celebrated my birthday with my friends because of a broken promise from him.

Why do I have to be perfect? Why am I not allowed to forget things? Why is everyone else’s voice more important than my own in my life?

I try to be positive but it really wears me thin that I have to be perfect. Because of my personality, everyone expects me to be Little Miss 4.0, Valedictorian, Teacher’s Pet of Perfection. Because I talk in proper English rather than in slang, I’m supposed to be above having friends and free time; all of my time should be used for college and education and being in the middle of every change that will ever take place in my lifetime.

No one seems to care that I’m falling behind because I’m drowning in expectations. No one seems to care that I’m only human. And speaking up means throwing myself into situations I’ve never had to deal with and making everything worse with so many people.

It’s getting down to the wire. I’m on my last little thread. And I don’t know how much it’ll take for it to snap on me.