What does it mean to grow up? All I ever wanted to do in my elementary years was add another candle to the cake. Now, all I need is for the world to stop spinning, stop rushing past me, if only for a moment, just so I can capture a single moment in my life with complete clarity. Fourteen years I have lived and breathed on this Earth, yet my snapshots of this world are blurry and undefined; my mind whittling memories, once so treasured, down to nubs of nothing. Years that I once wished for are now blinding me with their speed. Innocuous, inconspicuous, they creep up and pounce, stealing my breath away. Thirteen yesterday, Fourteen today, Fifteen tomorrow. Who am I really?
We dance along the precipice between child and adult, for only now do we begin to establish our identity and realize our place within the powerful workings of the world. We each cope differently as we strive to understand who we truly are, yet those around us expect us to grow the same way, feel the same way. They mold us into the shape of teens full of angry rebellion and irresponsible ways; phone addicts who can't stop texting and won't start reading. What they forget is that no one can be all of those traits, just as no one can be every one of them. Some procrastinate but are perfectionists, others are slobs while a select few don't have a single bone of angst in them. We are each unique individuals, precious in a way no one can understand, perhaps not even ourselves.
More, more, more. That seems to be the mantra of the year for me. More work, more responsibility, more insight and compassion, more with never a rest in store. In a year when I have just begun to dream, society seems bent on pushing me into what it wants. I am not what it wants and never will be. No one is and I will not waste even a single moment striving to be that perfect, admired person. For me, the best moment to live in is now. To spend every moment dreaming of tomorrow would be the greatest tragedy. We were given a life to explore and discover, and to forfeit it to such a pointless cause is utterly unacceptable.
At fourteen, our erratic, impressionable minds are always flashing from one thought to another; our dreams will soar beyond the stars. We may never be who we want to be; less than what those around us hoped we would be, but curses, frowns, and admonishments will never cleave us from our goal: To discover who we are in a world filled with diversity and wonder, on a journey that will never end as long as we live.