Years are measured;
Not by the days,
but by the time that takes up the days.
Time is measured;
Not by a clock,
but by the experience in between each tick and tock.
At 16 I felt the stings of heartbreak.
At 16 I saw the darkness known as sorrow.
At 16 I heard the screams in my head.
At 16 I smelled dreams burn up.
At 16 I tasted defeat.
Experience comes in more ways than comprehensible.
Experience teaches that minds are malleable and change is the outcome.
But a malleable substance, such as I, is not easy to form.
And at the beginning of my Seventeenth year
I could sense the change coming.
At 17 I felt the world lift off my shoulders
At 17 I saw the light at the end of the tunnel
At 17 I heard myself scream out, “I can do it!”
At 17 I smelled the burning desire to pursue my dreams
At 17 I tasted victory