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January 31, 2014
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Ever Aging

Fifteen. An age that you realize that you will never be the four foot unassuming child you once where. The age when imagination is being whisked away by math and variables and elements and strict schedules. The age when you first learn to love someone other than your mother, your teeth become straighter, your skin greasier, and begin to realize that there is a thing called adulthood and it’s coming dangerously close. The age when you realize life is just around the bend.

At the age of eight, I broke my first bone by being a, guess what, stupid kid. A friend and I were racing to her house after school on bikes, when we got into her driveway and I glided up a two-side skateboard ramp. Only for me to find that there was a Little Tikes basketball hoop blocking my exit side of the ramp. Slamming on the breaks at the top, and as I know now, caused Newton’s Law of Universal Gravitation to kick in squashing me to the ground. At eight my broken bones healed easily and I cannot feel pain anymore where I had broken it.

At age eleven, I broke my second bone, ironically in the same place as before, my left forearm. I broke it after being pushed down in soccer, not the most exciting story, but I paraded my broken arm around school like I was a Queen.

At age fourteen I broke my third bone, my right upper arm. My horse had decided that the wind was a terrifying beast that was going to engulf her, so my best friend gravity came in to ruin my day (months actually including recovery time). The point to this is that to this day I feel the pain in my right arm where I broke it this last time. Age until then was just a number that brought me closer to my goals, but from the age of fourteen on, age became a grim reminder that childhood will not last forever. Physical aging is a way for your body to say, “You know I’m not what I used to be!”

If I asked anyone in my family if fifteen was old, each one of them would say that they would kill to be fifteen again. But what is great about being fifteen? Staying up until midnight every night to finish homework is that great? Not being able to know whether or not you are good enough yet to go to the college of your dreams, is that great? Not being able to drive yourself anywhere, being utterly dependent upon your parents for everything, is that great?

Fifteen is that age where you are reprimanded for acting like a child and expected to act like a sophisticated scholarly adult, when truly we are just moody teenagers not yet sure of who we will become.

I’ve watched my sisters have boyfriends come and go, stay up past twilight to finish homework, go to college, graduate college, search for jobs, and yearn to be back in high school. Life is scarring, but it is up to each person to determine if it will scar in a good or bad way. While knowledge open doors for most everything, it closes the door of imagination forever.

I watch as kids bounce off the walls and think to myself, “How could I have ever possessed as much energy as those kids do?”

The scary reality is that from the minute we are conceived we age throughout our long lives. Millions will argue that fifteen is not old, but I vividly remember shivering at the thought of being fifteen when I was only six years old, just as I now am repulsed at the thought that one day I will be forty.

In A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah spoke about how he found it hard to realize that there was a civil war in his country until the rebels raided his village. Just as in that book, aging is like that civil war. You disregard that something is happening until it’s too late and you have grey hair and sagging eyelids. People, mostly women, will spend millions collectively on anti-aging products just to pretend to be someone they once were.

If you travel through my house you will find pictures, trophies, plagues, diplomas, and ribbons, all artifacts that symbolize the passing of time. It is at my age now that college is not an incomprehensible idea, but rather overhead watching me as I pass and fail tests always keeping an observant eye on me.

Every time I raise my right arm the stabbing pain that is an agonizing physical reminder that aging is inevitable, but how you deal with it is entirely for you to decide.

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