Thursday, March 1, 2012

At 17

At 17 the only thing that made sense was that my entire life was ahead of me. I would often catch my breath, gasping for air as I internalized this notion. I could do anything.

I worked so hard through high school for my 3.75 GPA and top 15% of my class ranking. It earned me a full ride scholarship to any in-state school, and I'm grateful I had the forethought to be so disciplined.

At 17 I was so attached to my mom and dad that I couldn't imagine leaving them. They knew better though, and found me a place to live in the dorms. I cried the entire summer before I left for college, anxiously dreading leaving the nest.

But what to major in? Everyone asked me this question and everyone expected an answer. Finally I just settled on Journalism, as majoring in English seemed silly and unrealistic. I wish I had listened to my heart, just once.

At 17 the world seems a smaller place. You have your friends, classes, family and your crush. Nothing else matters. There is always that boy you thought you would marry, the boy who first stole your heart away. Nothing anyone tells you about him matters. His is yours and you are his.

The world becomes a little darker after that boy breaks your heart. You walk the halls at school with your head a little lower, face a little sadder. You focus your attention on your schoolwork and busy yourself with your after school job. Nothing really heals the hurt though... not until you actually leave for school.

At 17 you dream of your future and the brightness that it holds. You see yourself ten years from now and check off what you'd like to have done by then: served a mission, earned a Masters degree, traveled the world, written a book and married to someone you love. But halfway through that ten year mark you realize you're not quite there. And then you discover those inherent dreams will always be there, shifting in the shadows as you murk your way through normalcy.

At 17 you are beautiful. Stunning, really. But you don't see the beauty there. Your self-esteem issues take terrible turns and threaten to destroy your happiness... yet you persevere. You are quiet, sweet, reserved and loving. Your heart beats to help others and it never quite stops beating that way.

You are untainted. You are free from the grips of sin (except the petty ones) and you have a firm testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

At 17 I wish I knew all that I know today. And yet, I look back at that beautiful girl and think she did all right.


No comments: