Once I Was... Now I Am This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   Once I was naive to all the terrible things of the world, now I am accustomed to them and confused .... Life comes with its ups and downs, and now that I have been exposed to the many horrors of it, I can never turn back to my innocent self.

When I was younger, I never realized the atrocities that are a part of living. Stuffed animals, a blanket, and my parents shielded me from the harshness of life. Hugs and kisses made the pain go away, and Band-Aids truly worked. The boogie man was my greatest fear, but night lights saved the day. Superman and Spiderman were true heroes, and the Smurfs really lived at the bottom of my bed. I was Cinderella waiting for my Prince Charming, and copycatting came with the territory. Everything was so simple. I never knew about cancer, or what it was like to lose a friend. I never knew of AIDS: the "killer" of my generation. Most importantly, I never realized the things I took for granted could so easily disappear.

Now I am older and have been exposed to the cruelties of life. I have experienced losing a friend and watching the people around me fall apart. I wonder why, but am unable to comprehend such a horrible happening. Why is Billy Joel correct in singing, "Only the good die young"? Now I think profoundly and try to unravel life's mysteries. I know full well that the key is acceptance, but denial is easier. I ponder all these thoughts as I watch my unassuming nature dwindle away before my eyes.

There are some things kisses can't fix, and night lights aren't always a savior. I'm not Cinderella, and I haven't found Prince Charming. Smurfs are imaginary, but AIDS is real. Once I was sheltered ... now I am scarred. c


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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