To Growing Up and Staying Young – 17

party ballons

With warm summer air surrounding us and the sounds of the crickets drifting in through my open window, I curled into my mother’s body and she hugged me to her; though I may be bigger than I was on the day I was born, exactly seventeen years ago, I will forever be her little baby and she will always be my mother.

She told me last year that as she turned seventeen, she was sad to part with sixteen. Today, I understand the way she felt then. Though sixteen might not have been exactly glamorous or particularly spectacular, it will forever hold a special place in my heart.

A lot has changed this year. I gained freedom, in a way, because I started and completed the whole process of learning how to drive and getting my license. Finally, something that everyone my age is tackling and mastering, and I could participate just liked everyone else. I even mastered it quickly and well, if I do say so myself. I probably annoy people a lot at this point when I talk about driving, but it’s fun to be the expert and the sage around my friends (I’m one of the only ones who can drive so far) on a topic unrelated to medical things.

The way I think about things has changed, drastically. I just approach things in a better way now. I keep up my positive thinking and I’ve developed an inner sense of humor that I’ve always had into a shield and a mood booster. I see humor in a lot of places I didn’t use to see it, and I cherish that change. It’s a change for the better.

I’m also more cautious, in a way, but at the same time I dare myself to do things I never would have done a year ago. I’m cautious with what I say and how much I share, not for fear of hurting someone else’s feelings, but for fear of sharing thoughts and feelings that I’m not yet sure about. I used to just blurb out whatever I was thinking, but now I take the time to actually form my thoughts before speaking and weigh the weight of what I’m sharing and how frustrated I will get if I can’t explain myself properly.

But I also take myself out of my comfort zone: I go places alone, I call people and talk on the phone, I do the things I know I should do but always feel awkward doing. I’ve just developed this way of approaching things and talking myself through them, and it’s starting to feel like I can tackle the things that have always intimidated me. I’m starting from the smaller things, like those I mentioned earlier, and at some point I will have the courage to face the bigger ones.

I also made the switch from thinking of all of the things I would like to do to actually doing them. I do more than talk, nowadays. Take, for example, my horrendous lack in general knowledge. For a bunch of years now I’ve been saying that I don’t know how I’ve been in school for so many years and yet there are basic things that I don’t know. This year, I just started educating myself. I bought a book called “The Knowledge Book”, and I read it before bed.

I’m just very aware of how I’m changing and how I’m learning to accept myself more and more. That’s another major change this year, my self-confidence. It’s been hard learning to accept my body with all that it puts me through, and that affected my self-confidence for a long time. But I’ve somehow learned how to separate fibromyalgia from my body, and because of that I’m learning to accept and like the way I look.

It’s exhilarating to realize that I’m getting older and there’s a whole new world of opportunities opening ahead of me, and absolutely terrifying at the same time. I’m sad to lose the feeling of being a child, of being protected by these strong and kind parents who are nothing but my parents. It’s huge to realize and to process that parents are people too, and to think of them as people before parents, but important. You do lose something though with that realization, because you can never go back. On the on hand, I still want them to take care of me and be there all the time, but at the same time the independent woman in me is showing her true colors and I just can’t wait to get out there in the world.

I’m sure it won’t be easy, but with every passing day I feel more and more ready to do it. To live life.

I propose a toast, to growing up and staying young forever.


Yours truly,



Song Quote:

Time may change me, but I can’t trace time. –Changes, David Bowie


32 comments on “To Growing Up and Staying Young – 17

  1. Bunnet says:

    Oh I remember my first years driving. My father was an avid collector of all sort of cars and trunks and I was given his enormous diesel truck to drive once the tremendous raw power was scary, then his twin-turbo was the pride of any young man and finally his highly pride collector car.

    I cherish every little thing. Even to this day I still do, I get in my convertible and hit the gas and smile as the wind comes across my face


  2. Beautifully written..Best wishes for new adventures..:)


  3. lilinamaste says:

    Very genuine and appreciated. I applaud you as a young person looking out into the world because a lot of your sentiments I am still feeling at almost 10 years your senior. Keep it up! 🌻


  4. clairet703 says:

    Congrats. on your birthday! You’ll find every year has something special to offer especially those teen ones where changes happen so quickly. It sounds like you’re already way ahead of the game and have learnt to turn lemons into lemonade! Your writing is also improving rapidly, good for you!


  5. jhdsn48 says:

    This is such a wonderful, beautiful post! I’ve been looking around your blog and love everything I read….you have a way with words, and good luck with writing that novel! Have an awesome 17th year!


  6. shakwinn says:

    that was beautiful.


  7. Aaryne says:

    Every age has a gift for you and it is wonderful that you can see it!


  8. Gabrielle says:

    Reblogged this on The Coldly Warm-Hearted girl and commented:
    Just the right words my thoughts wanted to express.


  9. Hi, Ella, being seventeen is special! And from your post it does sound like you are growing up beautifully. Learning to accept change, your self and everything life has to offer you is one of the big parts of growing up. Wish you a happy late birthday, and may you have many more to come.


  10. Ella you sound like a wonderfully reflective person and I’m a firm believer that reflection is key to a content soul. Happy Late Birthday! I hope you had a wonderful 17th and congratulations with the driving – I remember that feeling!

    ‘Dance Like No One is Watching’ – A Human.
    Juliet x


  11. Good Luck in your journey forward, Ella.


  12. Evan White says:

    Happy belated birthday, Ella! I just wanted to say thank you for taking the time to read something of mine, and I truly love your blog as well. I love the way you can so openly discover your own thoughts and patterns and realize the changes in yourself. I remember when I first started to learn how to drive a stick-shift, that was so terrifying. But anyway, I look forward to reading much more of your writing, and thank you again for your visiting my poetry. I hope to hear from you.


  13. anikavon says:

    I loved reading this, Ella. Happy birthday!


  14. Jen says:

    17 was one of my favorite ages so far. :)


  15. haywardhelen says:

    Really enjoyed reading this. Makes me wonder about my seventeen year old son, who probably feels a lot of the things you describe but wouldn’t express them nearly as well!


  16. me2013 says:

    I am in my 50’s and you have hit the nail on the head, stay young in heart and mind, try something new every day, it doesn’t have to be a big thing and you will bloom and grow. :D


  17. Gabrielle says:

    This post is beautifully written, and I can really relate to you as I am also a senior in college, and things that are about to come up makes me terrified that I don’t know what to do and just panic. I am also starting to go out of my comfort zone that I have mixed emotiond whenever I do things I thought I could never do. There are times when I just wan to go back to being young and not be afraid about what’s about to happen. Thank you for sharing this. :)


  18. vickster55 says:

    Happy Birthday a little late! You’ll always feel young in your mind & body. Keep reading & learning your whole life. It makes it fun!


  19. You go girl! Get out there and make life happen! :)


  20. Lois Roelofs says:

    I wish you a happy year as you continue to learn and grow. I’m much older but still love that motto and have learned to make peace with having fibro. Cheers to a toast!


  21. LeProsey says:

    Great image to go with your post. Nice writing.


  22. Pepper says:

    I think it is wonderful that you are discovering that self-confidence is a gift you give yourself – no one else can do it for you! I wish I had figured that out at 17 and not in my mid-20s. Happy birthday and may the joy of birthdays never leave you.


  23. InfiniteZip says:

    Happiest birthday wishes, love the Bowie, smiles and hugs:)


  24. Val_ToWriter says:

    That was beautiful, Ella. I’m a grandmother, but in watching my own children grow I can see where you’re at and how you have grown over the last year. You can count many achievements for the year, and it’s good to do that. It’s good, too, that you are learning to separate yourself from your fibromyalgia. It affects you greatly, but it is not you. You are fortunate that you have a strong bond with your parents. My husband and I do with our children, too, and I can appreciate that feeling of wanting to become more independent, and yet wanting to stay attached. But you can have both; parents are always parents. I used to wonder how I could ever let my children leave home — but as a parent you also want your children to grown into healthy, well-balanced, individuals so you realize it is only natural for them to move on with their own lives. Keep exploring, learning new things, and having new experiences. Happy belated birthday!


  25. tonychapman says:

    beautiful writing and an inspiring sentence, “growing up and staying young forever ”
    that’s what I’m tying to hold on to… (and I’m Very very much older than you Ella ) .

    here’s a line from one of my songs about being older:
    “if I start each thing brand new, bring a beginner’s mind to every endevour
    why can’t I stay young forever ?.!! .”


    Liked by 1 person

  26. Ivy says:

    Happy happy happy birthday!

    Sent from my iPhone



  27. bethpow06 says:

    Happy Birthday Ella! Sounds as if you are growing in many ways. Keep writing!


  28. elainecanham says:

    Happy birthday, Ella. Many happy returns & I’ll drink a toast to you.


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