This is fourteen, this is me
Being 14 is the first year of high school. High school feels like being a sheep in a pack of wild wolves. You feel helpless but at the same time so powerful. You’re a freshman so you feel vulnerable because there are so many upper class men around you. At the same time, you feel like you’re finally free. Teachers aren’t always on your back, telling you to do your work. They aren’t trying to make you into something your not. They are teaching you to be your own person. You realize that these are the years that will build the beginning of the stone path which leads right to your future. Now that teachers let you have more freedom, you feel the need to do more. You always ask for extra credit and take extra classes to make your future college application look better, even though we’re still freshmen.
Fourteen is the year when you stay up until midnight binge watching your favorite series on Netflix (Grey’s Anatomy all the way) instead of reviewing for your Spanish test. Sometimes you are so lost in your work, extra curricular activities, relationships completely lose track of time and start to forget who you are as a person. It’s so difficult to know who you are. There are so many stereotypes that are created as we get older. We set goals for ourselves and try to be like other people when we should really just try to be ourselves.
It is the year when you are capable of eating a whole jar of Nutella, a avocado club from Smashburger and a whole bag of tootsie rolls in one night. It’s the year when you finally realize you can't get through the day with your precious grande iced coffee with extra whipped cream and your warmed up cinnamon roll from Starbucks.
14 is the year where some of the most important people come into your life, and stay there forever. Most of your old middle school friends, the fake ones at least starts drifting away and the real friends start to become more obvious. You go through everything and have the best inside jokes that no one understands. Like in movies, you always hear people talking about their best friend since freshman year in high school. Some of our high school friends will stay with us forever, either physically or in our hearts. My best friend is likens other half. I'm always with her even though we don't go to the same school. We see each other three times a week because we ride our horses at the same barn but we FaceTime every day. We talk about our problems at school and help each other with our homework. We already have plans to live together in a mansion when we're older and how we will kill our husbands for their money.
When you’re 14, older people think of you as delinquents who think they have their whole life figured out. People who only cause trouble because they have nothing better to do with their unexciting lives. It’s the year when you ask your parents to go eat on the avenue, they think you are chugging vodka with your friends. It’s the year when your parents will always assume the worst and worry about every single thing you are doing because they know what being fourteen was like.
14 is the year when people are ready to do almost anything to be more popular, which can lead to making bad decisions. But it is also the year where we learn from our bad decisions. Not all of them but most of the popular kids drink and do dumb things. It's very hard to fit in if you don't do what others do. You feel like it’s necessary to do stupid, reckless things just to be “cool”. I just learned that you have to resist, not be weak, not give in. It’s important to stand up for what you believe in.
14 is the year when you take love for granted because, you don’t really know what it means. It’s the year of drama and being immature, but in the same way, growing up and learning from the mistakes you’ve made. 14 is the year of experience, where you learn not to give away your trust for free.
14 is the year where you learn so many life lessons. They will stick with you. In the back of your mind. Forever. This is fourteen. Fourteen is me.
My dog Layla died when I was twelve. It was probably the saddest day of my life because she was my best friend and I grew up with her. She was a black boxer with a watery nose, watery eyes, and I tail. Since she didn't have a tail, she couldn't wag it so she just moves her whole body so she looked like a worm whenever she was happy. She always looked like a warm. Whenever I see a dog I cry. The weird thing is that it’s not a sad cry, it's a happy cry. Dogs are so special to me they’re amazing.
Two hours a day, six times a week. That is how often I go to the most wonderful, relaxing place in the world; Twin Lakes Farm. I have a jumping lesson twice a week on my horse, Emma. Whenever I’m having a bad day, the barn helps me relax and it just makes me happy. I’ve been riding for about nine years. It’smy sport and my passion. I compete in the 2’9”jumping height with Emma. I’ve leased nine horses before; Bobo, Shakespeare, Lucy, Brandy, Bridget, Dazzy, Boots, Teddy, and now Emma. I spend my life at the barn. It’s like my second home. That’s where my family is.
I hate winter so much. It makes me so unhappy and I just want to hibernate with my food and wake up when summer comes. Why does it have to be so cold? Why does ice have to be slippery? When I was five I slipped in ice and broke my wrist. I hate winter. I hate that after it snows, the snow becomes brown and slushy or icy. I always look like a slob because I absolutely can not tolerate the cold. I have to wear a billion layers of clothes and my beige fuzzy Ugg slippers which keep my feet so warm. I usually love to wear my grey Patagonia sweater which is very fuzzy and a bit too big; for me, that’s perfect. There are only two things I like about winter; homemade warm hot chocolate with slightly melted mini marshmallows, and of course snow days.
An unfortunate day in the life of a third grader: narrative
I was on the playground in third grade. My greasy, dirty blonde hair flopped around on my back. As usual, I was wearing mid-length shorts and a bright neon yellow tank top. Let's just say I was going through a phase where I didn’t shower everyday, or brush my hair, or my teeth…
The bell had just rung to announce the beginning of playtime. I jogged to try to keep up with my two best friends, Philip and Andrew. I hadn't brushed my hair or my teeth that day. We walked down the brick path all the way to the back of the playground. We were standing by the dirt road. A cloud of red dust was puffing into the air as people raced up and down the dirt road. The cloud left some dirt residue on my face turning it a light reddish color. I was standing with Philip and Andrew. We were talking about how we were going to race the other kids and place bets judging on who would win. Andrew bragged, “I would beat both of you, you’re both so slow”. We decided that whoever won would be able to have the last apple sauce that was still waiting for us in the lunchroom. While we were still talking, a tall, bulky, bully named Matthew came up to us. In a deep, frightening voice he asked Philip and Andrew if they wanted to be in the race. They looked at eachother, a bit frightened and nodded in agreement. I was very surprised that he hadn’t asked me to race so I said “can i race too?”. He looked down at me. He just blankly stared at me for a straight thirty seconds. He then scanned me from head to toe. He started laughing. Philip and Andrew had their heads down, trying not to make eye contact with either me or Matthew. I asked again, “Can I race?”
He stared at me, squinting his eyes. “No. You’re a girl. Girls can’t run” he said to me. I was still confused as to why he thought that so I replied “Yes they can.”
He looked at me, furious. “I’m going to say this one more time, NO.”
I was so flabbergasted, I could not believe my eyes, I was so embarrassed, but most of all I was disappointed that my two best friends in the entire world didn’t feel the need to stand up for me. I turned around very abruptly and ran. I ran as fast as i could and i could hear them laughing behind my back. I sat down, my eyes were red and puffy. My head was pressed up against my cold, dirty knees and I felt a war tear running down my leg. I was seated on the splintery, red, wooden bench that had been on this playground for decades, sobbing. I could hear some kids yelling as they were sliding down the big blue slide at the top of the play set. Most of the girls were sitting on the benches doing each other's hair and talking about their dumb lower school crushes. The boys were racing each other on the dirt path and playing one on one basketball on the somber court.
I was so shocked and depressed all I wanted to do was sit alone in my own little bubble and cry. I wanted all the loud screams to go away. I didn't want anyone talking to me. I didn't want anyone looking at me. I didn't want anyone at all. I just wanted to be all by myself. Me and my red, bloated face. Me and my watery eyes. Me and my broken heart. That bully and my two best friends broke my big, happy heart. Clearly I found some new friends because they weren’t worth my time.
Over the years I still remember that day. I wish I could go back and change that it. I wish I would've raced, even if they didn't want me to and proven that girls can be just as fast as boys. Even if I lost, I would've had more self confidence. I would’ve known that i was able to stand up for myself. I would’ve known that I stood up for what I believed in and to the biggest bully in my grade. The lessons you learn in life can be scarring but it is so very important to have some of them in the back of your mind, reminding you to stay strong and to be you.