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May 20, 2024


By Lizzie Mayerle

Have you ever looked around at your surroundings, your life, and wondered "Where has the time gone?" I started to do that, several weeks ago because it hit me that I am turning 16.

This freaks me out. There is no poetic way to put it, no metaphor or figurative language that I've been taught that could fully express this. I am suddenly realizing that "becoming an adult" is looming quite a bit closer over the horizon than it once had. I am realizing that I am going to be 16, something that didn't quite seem possible to me. I never really thought I was going to be this "old". I never thought I was actually going to have a big old driver's license, and be staying out till midnight with friends, rushing home to try and get there at what my parents would consider a reasonable time, which is, of course, much too early.

I am getting a feeling of "where has my childhood gone?" and it keeps coming back to me. I remember now, what it felt like to be six years old. I remember getting up to go to school, excited to be learning to read and write, looking at the clock anxious to go each morning. I remember walking to school with my brother and sister, so little, skipping ahead, and eager to be there, impatient to come home, thrilled to do everything. I remember what it felt like to be eight years old, in third grade, excited to be planting a garden at school, scampering around the playground at recess. I remember what it felt like to be ten years old, still scurrying around the playground, but not the same way I had two years ago. No, at ten I was interested in conducting my own stories, with my friends in it. They liked doing it, getting involved in my fantasies with me, but not the way that I threw myself into planning them, and deciding who should act out what part. I remember being twelve years old, starting junior high school, nervous about how I looked, touching my hair up every five minutes, walking down the hall hoping to catch the eye of a boy. I remember being 14, in eighth grade, looking at the sixth graders at school, and wondering how they could be so little, seeing them do exactly what I had done at that age. I remember eighth grade graduation, the fear that grabbed me at that point in my life, the fear that I was done with elementary school, and the fear of the future. I remember that summer, and losing one of the people closest to my heart as high school began. I remember meeting those that I am close to now. And I see the beginning of this year, the dramatic changes that have already occurred in my life, and I wonder.

Is it only that I can clearly remember what it was like to be eight, what it felt like, that it seems that at twice that age I feel so old? Is it seeing my cousin, the first little one that was born when I was ten, start school, be in kindergarten, and run to me with excitement over school that makes me wonder where the time went?

But do I try and stop this growing up, these changes? No, for the changes are what makes me who I am. To try and stop this change would be like trying to preserve footprints on a beach; no matter what you do to try and keep them there, the tide will come in, the waves will beat against the shore, and the footprints will be erased, gone.

Tomorrow has become today.

Article © Lizzie Mayerle. All rights reserved.
Published on 2004-01-03
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