15 Fret

I am fifteen… and I am lost. Rudderless.  I wheeze a lot. I run slowly but I make it around the track. My friends are older, making me feel unjustifiably wiser. Smart, but sometimes unwilling to grind out the steps necessary for that coveted ‘A’. I sought attention from those whose eyes I should’ve averted. I was in a fog of uncertainty wrapped in sheer will. I don’t remember the specifics of that 15-year-old woman-child being raised in a city full of limits, all of which I tested. I don’t like to remember that pained, attention- seeking person, even though I know her struggles infused the me who sits here relatively comfortable even in too much skin. If I could go back and talk to her, I’d tell her to greet the mirror with more kindness – enjoy those looks, they are ephemeral.  Don’t forgive so many of the trespasses that you’ve come to expect – they’re not normal nor are they your fault. Say ‘no’ to others and ‘yes’ to yourself more often. I’d like to think I could teach her how to heal her own wounds instead of seeking all of the wrong nurses. The 15-year-old me would be the 2.0 version of me at 15.  The me I hope my daughter surpasses so that I can look back at that 15-year-old with a knowing wink, secure that it all turned out okay – for now and for the future.

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