I’m 21 years old. Well, almost.
For these 21 years I’ve done my utmost
to face the fears, the tears, the spears and the years
that life has thrown at me.
Most people would say I’m a bit of a puzzle. I’m a puzzle for most people, including myself.
You might say I’m a lot to handle.
With one older sister and one younger brother, I’m in the middle.
I’m in the middle of everything.
In the middle of stings and swings and things aimed right at me.
And the things I know would shock you,
would rock you,
would kill you,
and then revive you.
I’d make you laugh and I’d make you cry.
I’d make you wish you were never born and then I’d love you again, pull you back into my arms
because I’m charismatic, emphatic, and at times
a little overdramatic.
But I’m also down to Earth.
And I can stand right here in front of you and entrap you.
Because I’m charming and disarming and I can even be alarming.
Even to myself.
Because I’m a conundrum. An enigma. And a paradox
I can’t quite understand myself.
Although here I do stand. Tall.
My back against the preverbal wall
I’m an adult?
I don’t feel adult.
The result of experience. The result of living, existing, breathing every day
and enduring, churning, and learning.
I have learned.
Maybe not enough but I have learned.
About the important things
but maybe not enough.
Maybe not enough and that’s what scares me.
That’s what tears through me, cuts me, and leaves me
open and vulnerable.
That I’m not ready
unsteady on these, my own two feet
that can walk and dance and run,
run me straight into trouble.
I’ve learned about trouble in my 21 years.
And I’m wise enough to know that you can’t avoid it.
But I fear I’m not wise enough to know how to steer clear of it
when I may.
Not knowing when to stay or when to stray or who to pay or what to say.
Afraid I’ll say the wrong things.
Because I will say the wrong things.
But I’ll say the right things too because when it comes to me,
I’m not just one thing,
I’m a trillion.
And I’d love to say I’m gonna kill it,
this Adult thing,
but the truth is
I don’t know.
I don’t know if I’ll be good at it,
at being a worker, a career woman, a team player,
a tax payer, a bill payer, a mortgage payer and an insurance payer,
at being a mother or a lover or some other kind of grown-up person.
But if I know myself I know I’ll give it my utmost
to face the hardships, the guilt trips, the fat bloody lips, the come-to-grips and the crazy trips
that life will throw at me
over my next 21 years.