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I am thirteen years old.
I’ve only lived on this Earth for thirteen years, have only inhaled breaths of air for thirteen years, only used up space for thirteen years, only been apart of human race for thirteen years.
Such a small number, thirteen is.
Such a young age, thirteen is.
Such a small amount of time in the vast plains of life, thirteen is.
I feel as though I’ve seen so much already, learned so much already, grown so much already that I wonder often, what else is to come?
I’ve seen betrayal, experienced it firsthand, discovered how at first you feel waves of rage crash into each other, unrolling one after another, until it all washes away, and you’re left with the taste of shame and deep loneliness.
I’ve felt love, experimented with how strong it’s bonds really are, shared to many people, offered it to the wrong people, and have seen how blinding and confusing it can truly be.
I’ve experienced loss. My grandfather passed away a few years ago, I’ve switched schools many times, my best friend in third grade, the one who I had promised to be my bridesmaid in the future, is someone I no longer know.
I’ve swam in hatred, felt it’s despicable, alluring, and tempting pull, felt myself get lost in its seas, and do actions I’d much rather forget.
I understand how sometimes the right thing is the thing that will get you into trouble. I’ve learned that girls will be girls, ones who gossip and lie and pretend they’re a lot nicer than they truly are. I’ve learned that guys will be guys, ones who can’t get past what lies on the outside, who are completely blind to small signals, and can talk to you so deeply over facebook and then never talk to your face in math class the next day.
I am not old enough to be considered an adult yet, not even old enough to be able to drive.
I’m only thirteen.
Some call me naïve.
My parents only see their three-year-old daughter dressed in bows and frilly pink dresses.
Some tell me I have far to go.
I think I’ve already traveled much more than they think.
Maybe I’ll look back at this when I am older, wiser, and more responsible
And laugh at my so-called knowledge, my experiences, and my overconfidence
Maybe I will nod my head and smile slowly and agree with the thirteen-year-old me caught in this poem.
My mother often tells me, “You think this is a big deal now, but it’s not. Honey, you are still just a kid.”
My dad often shakes his head, “Wait until you get older and things are put into perspective for you.”
And what do I say?
How do I respond?
“You don’t understand anything!”
They may have been thirteen once, but not in my time period!
They don’t understand and frankly, they don’t really care.
They think I’m too young and that this is just a stage.
They think I will get over this in a few days, a few months, a few years
But I don’t want to think about later, in a few days, in a few months, in a few years
I am living this very moment, having to go through it however it ends up
I am thinking about this moment, how it will turn out right now
I may be thirteen and have a great deal to still learn
But I am not completely clueless either.
I know that you won’t believe me if I say this
But why is that, do you think?
Are you just in denial that your baby girl is growing up?
Do you not want to imagine that I may have already gone through the things you went through as a teen?
Everyday I live, I gain a new experience.
Every moment lived, I gain a new understanding.
Whoever linked being young to being naïve?
You don’t have to live a hundred years to experience the bitter taste of realizing that in this one moment you are alone in the world.
You don’t have to climb a hundred mountains to know that hurt shows on your face, reflects in your eyes, and surrounds you heart in a bubble that’s made up of heavy steel.
I still have many more years outstretched in front of me.
I still have an indefinite future.
For heaven’s sake, I haven’t even reached high school yet!
But I am not a baby,
I am not ignorant, nor clueless,
Or out of tune with the rest of the world.
I have been through a lot, maybe more than you want to know about
I understand that I’m your daughter
That you’ll see me as an angel that needs protecting from the world’s poison.
But you do not know of the powerful sword I carry in secret
You do not know that I can fend off evils on my own
I may need your help occasionally
When I experience the bite of a monster I’ve never seen before
But I also need you to believe in me a bit more
Have more faith too
Because after all I’ve lived thirteen years on this Earth
And you have not been there for every second I’ve lived, every moment I’ve experienced
I’m just a girl with the world still at her feet
I am learning my way through its mazes and finding new paths everyday
I join alliances and sometimes loose some blood along the way
I have come so far, and okay, I’ll admit it, I still have got a long way to go too