eternal rue

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they / them

secretly spider-man

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~ rupi kaur

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how old am I anyway?

October 3, 2021

PROMPT: [Insert Age]

3
perceiving    

    The last time I went to get my hair cut, my hairdresser asked if I was in high school or post-secondary. It threw me off - I was only a few months into being fourteen, and here this person thought I was what - seventeen? Twenty?
    "Neither," I managed to croak out. "I'm going into high school next year."
    Since then, I've been asked for ID getting on a plane at least once, and a few other times the attendant has looked at me closely - as closely as they could with my mask on - then deemed me too young. 
    I think the way people treat you depends a certain amount on how old or young you look. It's the small things, too; when I wear a tote bag or purse into a store, the clerk will have a conversation with me, or I feel more confident. When it's afterschool, and I'm wearing my backpack with friends, I often catch suspicious glances or the clerks are less interested in us. Little details; little things that change and come and go. I'm at a period where half my classmates and friends look far younger than they are and half far older. 
    Perceiving age is a strange thing. When I was in first grade, the third graders were huge. Third grade, and the seventh graders were wildly old and mature. Now I look at seventh graders and think how young they are. I bet fifty-year-olds think thirty-year-olds are tiny children, and thirty-year-olds think fifty-year olds are too old.
    Strange, the numbers we place on our years to define us. Very strange.

fourteen. 
fourteen and my classmates are all whispering 
about things they shouldn't know yet
things they shouldn't do yet.
i know these things too (thanks to them) but i don't talk.
fourteen and i'm seeing ten-year-olds
in crop tops, waving phones
and saying guess what i saw on social media
when i was ten we played on the playground and drew fairies
and now i'm fourteen.

fourteen with my friend who doesn't go online
and spends her time reading
and talks about books 
she is the hope i have for my age.
fourteen and i'm looked down upon
by high schoolers, looks of disdain that say
ninth graders, immature children
and i want to scream because i'm

fourteen. with the mind of someone far older
the demeanor of someone far older
please, see me as someone far older
i am an old soul and old heart and old mind. 
fourteen and i cannot perceive how some people
are ignorant. and look at our adults 
we need to to take action for our earth
so i can live longer (so you can live longer)
and i can become more than 
fourteen.


 
well that turned very quickly into a climate change sort of thing
as things often do with me. 
also sort of dark at the end there. oh well. 
i know not all adults are ignorant, this was just pointed at climate deniers!
enjoy :)

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  • October 3, 2021 - 8:59pm (Now Viewing)

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5 Comments
  • lainey5

    this is amazing!


    10 months ago
  • mnesic writer

    I totally relate to this. I don’t look my age either!


    10 months ago
  • sci-Fi

    Re: omg SAME. especially bc i'm now taking classes from all my sisters old teachers... that's always fun...
    yes, that is an inej quote absolutely love her. the quotes actually from crooked kingdom which holy crap does NOT disappoint after six of crows so finish the grisha trilogy quickkk. i forced myself to read them in order and it took a bit but after siege and storm it was ok. ruin and rising is definitely the best book of the three, but nothing will EVER beat the six of crows duology


    11 months ago
  • sci-Fi

    yes.
    i was JUST thinking about this, mainly bc the airplane thing happened to me as well. i'm 14 too and three different security people asked to see my ID bc apparently i look older than 18 with my mask on?
    anyway i have no clue why it sucks so much. im kinda done with being 14


    11 months ago
  • SunV

    Really love how this flows, from a talk about how how others perceive your age greatly depends on how you look and act. When I was thirteen, I went with a friend, her mom, and my brother, to a store, and the security there passed the pamphlet to me, thinking I was the adult there, when I was one of the younger people.

    And how you talk about as you grow, your outlook on age changes. Fourteen is still big to me, since I've only just turned fifteen, but now looking at my eleven year old brother, it still feels like he's a baby, when I felt so grown up at eleven. And looking at friends who are 18/20, they seem so old, when I know in a few years I'll be that age, and it won't feel old anymore.

    Great take on this prompt!

    Re: Thank you! I've always seen it that way-- maybe 'cause I've moved physically a lot, but because of all these physical moves, I've had a hard time settling down mentally, and the prompt really drew me in.


    11 months ago