Changes This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

   Occasionally, I get into these dark moods when I sit around wondering where my life has gone. I remember the games I used to play when I was little with toy cars and Legos and whatever else I wanted. I had so much fun then, what happened?

I got older, that's what happened. Somehow, somewhere, time snuck up on me when I wasn't looking. I entered my teenage years full of vigor and optimism and youth. Now I'm tired and cynical. What happened?

I'm still young, but I don't feel it. There's less than a month before my eighteenth birthday. Three weeks until I'm an adult. It's something I've been looking forward to for as long as I can remember. Why do I fear it now?

I know why: the child in me is dying. I've felt the child dying for some time now. School, work, college, family: they've all put demands on me. Deadlines. Things that must be done. Problems, stress, pressure, they've replaced the simple joy I knew as a child. I still have fun, but it's nothing like it used to be. There seems to be so little time for that anymore. And the child is all but gone.

But not forgotten. I know that even now, as I approach adulthood, part of me will stay forever young. I'll just have to hold onto that part of myself. People say I'm just starting my life, but part of it has ended.

But I think I'm ready. I've faced death and now I'm ready to face life. Whatever happens, whatever changes in the next month, I'm prepared for it, even if I'm not looking forward to it. fl

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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