Growing (up): A Reflection

News & Politics
ReflectionMy mother likes to talk about how much a child learns between birth and age five. "They never learn that much that fast again," she'll say. I disagree. I think the important lessons of our life occur between the ages fourteen and nineteen. I have learned more in the last four years than I ever could have imagined.

Affairs of the heart are inconstant. There is more to see, know, hear, taste, touch and smell than you have ever imagined.

Nothing is as easy as it seems. Question everything. You have a voice that can move mountains.

My old friends were and are important to me, but now I find people to exchange theories with, to find fresh inspiration with. I get a new hair cut or a new outfit, like adults do all the time, something I never would have bought before and it makes me feel like a new person.

I express myself in new ways and write down new ideas so I don't forget them. I keep ideas that are new to me recorded in a "doodle" and as these random expressions increase, I slowly begin to understand the idea. I search for answers and enlightenment. I stay up all night reading a book that crashes through my mind like a cannon ball in a glass factory. And because I am so
"Nothing is as easy as it seems. Question everything. You have a voice that can move mountains."
excited about the things I've discovered, I won't be tired the next day in school. Adults I know feel threatened by this. They are afraid they're going to "lose" me." That I will become involved with something dangerous. That I will do something (they) will regret.

"Don't make the mistakes I did," my mother says. She is embarassed by the fact she'd been married three times before she was twenty five. That my sister has a different father than I do. I know she had great dreams. I find her fascinating. I understand her even less than she does me. She claims my friends are the cause of all my independent leanings. My occasional use of a curse. The way I wear my shirts with an open, slightly low neckline is attributed to my current and past "bad infuences". As are my preferences for high-heeled boots, rock, rap and "good" movies with "bad" language. The funny thing is, even though my sisters and brother call the "weird one", my mom and dad have always told me that I'm the who is most respectful, that I'm the one they worry about the least. Adults don't understand teenagers. I think the magic five years between fourteen and nineteen are like a dream. Whether it was a good or bad dream, they wish they could remember it.

But they should not despair of us. Like them, most of us will not be able to remember this dream of self and world discovery. We will have a life of details, of carpools and nine-to-five jobs. We, too, will cut the grass and pay the insurance bills and battle with our children. But maybe we will remember. Maybe this dream will remain fresh in some of our minds. Maybe we will question and revel in every part of our lives, even as we hit our thirtieth, fiftieth, our eightieth birthdays. Maybe we will change the world. And to all those who try to stop us, even those we love despite themselves, maybe we will say "your opposition has only fueled our fight." We will smile in the sun.

S. L. Hill, is an 18 year old young woman who lives in Georgia.

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