wisdom of the (smaller) ages

22 02 2008

i was talking to my friend hannah yesterday, who’s eleven, and has just found out that she’s going to be moving from new york to central pennsylvania in a few months. “have you heard?” she asked–“i’m so excited!”

we talked a bit about her new room and how she’d have a hand in setting it up her way, & then turned to starting middle school, which looms close before her and now will be happening in a new school system, new people in a new town. she’s a little apprehensive about the all-new-people part, but not much; the biggest thing she’s worried about, she told me, is knowing that in middle school you have to get to your classes on time, and she says she’s “not very fast.”

“but aren’t you sad to be leaving your friends from parish?” i asked her.

“no,” she answered. “they turn on each other all the time. and i’ll get to be a whole new person. i can be whoever i want.”

she’s a pretty damn cool person as-is; i don’t imagine there will be much fundamental changing going on, really. but right now, doesn’t that make you wish you were eleven and moving to a new town to start middle school confident, optimistic, washing-your-hands-of the people you were sick of & reinventing yourself while you were still young enough to become anyone at all?

i honestly think, at this point, if it were me, i’d invent myself pretty much the way i am–but i’d do it then. i wasted a lot of opportunities by being too chicken to be this me at 12 and 17 and 25 (and 30?). and while i do know, rationally, that some things have to be learned the long-and-hard way (bite your tongue), that doesn’t wholly preclude thinking about the what-if-i’ds sometimes.

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12 responses

22 02 2008
_aurelius

i wholeheartedly agree with your concluding paragraph.
btw, here in so. MD we have a snowday, but there is no snow.

22 02 2008
_aurelius

i wholeheartedly agree with your concluding paragraph.
btw, here in so. MD we have a snowday, but there is no snow.

22 02 2008
pictsy

Eh. I thought this is what it would be like at TJ, because I had just moved from another country and didn’t know a soul. I could be anybody! But I was really just paralyzed with shyness and loneliness for a year, and then became my old happy self when I joined color guard.

22 02 2008
pictsy

Eh. I thought this is what it would be like at TJ, because I had just moved from another country and didn’t know a soul. I could be anybody! But I was really just paralyzed with shyness and loneliness for a year, and then became my old happy self when I joined color guard.

22 02 2008
pictsy

Btw, Vince arrived in Syracuse today (on Sicily) and it made me think of you. πŸ™‚

22 02 2008
tyra

tell him to send me a postcard. i’ve never had a postcard from the *real* one! πŸ˜€

22 02 2008
pictsy

I will pass the word πŸ™‚

22 02 2008
pictsy

I will pass the word πŸ™‚

22 02 2008
tyra

tell him to send me a postcard. i’ve never had a postcard from the *real* one! πŸ˜€

22 02 2008
pictsy

Btw, Vince arrived in Syracuse today (on Sicily) and it made me think of you. πŸ™‚

23 02 2008
donnickcottage

I’d have hated it. In fact I did when I did it. But then if I hadn’t led a totally miserable life I wouldn’t have such cool stories to tell now would I?

23 02 2008
donnickcottage

I’d have hated it. In fact I did when I did it. But then if I hadn’t led a totally miserable life I wouldn’t have such cool stories to tell now would I?

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