The memory of eleventh grade has been cycling through my thoughts a lot as of late. Because, unfortunately, I fear I've grown up. And there are more arguments to this conclusion than just my newfound self-control with alcohol.
This nostalgia for eleventh grade has not a thing to do with how much fun I had during that year (I was miserable 'till September.) It has absolutely all to do with the eviscerating passion that distinguished this year from any other. I have never read, written, listened to music, or loved a boy with the blind fury I did two years ago.
In fact, if I could live one year all over again, in spite of the misery and the angsty or drunken mistakes I reiteratively made, it would be eleventh grade.
I took out that year's notebook to relive that passion.
Here's one of the dooderdaffles I wrote back then:
An Open Letter to Seventeen
You are a number.
You could be 19, or 32, perhaps 5, or maybe even 47. But no, you chose to be 17.
Some could say Seventeen was "built." People, Seventeen is not Rome. It is not built in a day, nor in seventeen years. Seventeen is not built, but sort of created, in a mish-mash of stupid romances, of masturbating whilst listening to rock music, of downing a whole litre of cookies and cream ice cream and then crying and then vomiting, of nights racing from one point of the city to the next and then not remembering a thing (through the headache) the next day, a collection of 8:00 AMs pretending to take notes but actually doodling out lyrics in the margins, of professing love for coffee when it's really for the high, of smoking to look cool, of playing guitar to look cool, of wearing jean jackets and skinny jeans and jean shirts to look cool, of crying in the bathroom so as not to risk that coolness, of writing poetry (on your wrists, with knives), of making playlists but then never uploading or burning them, of ogling at books without reading them, of ogling at notes without studying them, of ogling at bodies without touching them, of ogling at phone numbers without calling them, of making mistakes, should be making more, sneaking the car out, crashing into another car before reaching the pavement, of hating your hair, her hair, loving his, shouting at your parents, seeking their hugs, wishing I could fly somewhere else, being homesick, listeing to music to ignore the noise, listening to noise to ignore the life, jogging out the litre of ice cream that you couldn't bring yourself to vomit, getting tired after the first mile, stopping after the second, to lay on the grass, look at the clouds, and see them go by…
Seventeen, I don't understand you, because I don't understand myself. But that's okay, I'll keep on trying. I've got until Eighteen catches me, after all.
And I hope it won't!
(Wishing I could commit all of those mistakes over again. Wishing the climax of my life hadn't been eleventh grade.)
An Almost Twenty-Year Old