When I was younger, I just couldn’t wait to grow up. I couldn’t wait to leave home, to have my next birthday, to graduate high school. The idea of being free to be myself was like this great shining star in front of me, and I wanted to hurry up the process and gain it for myself. And now, that star is just inches from my grasp…

And I don’t want it anymore.

I’ve heard countless people tell me that it’s time to grow up and that it’s time to forget about the childhood day dreams, to forget about climbing trees, and leave behind the safety net of family.

I don’t want to. I’m scared shitless of growing up and moving away into a world that doesn’t have to love me, that won’t pick me up when I fall. It hurts that my family won’t be there anymore the moment I set foot out of my door for good, and it hurts more that the only places teens can get to live around here are 600$ a month and we’re lucky if we make that much. It hurts that people look down on teens sometimes just because they made a bad decision.

It all makes me understand why kids my age go out partying. They do it because it may be the last time they get the chance. Some do it because it helps ease the pain of the realization that one day they’ll have to settle down and be as boring as their parents are now. But I still wonder sometimes why growing up has to be so much like throwing a 5 year old into a pool to make them learn how to swim.