Dear Miss Seventeen, I owe you an apology. For years we were friends, or at least you thought we were friends. But our friendship was the worst kind. Behind your back I was the last person to be your friend. Defiant and strong willed as you were I disliked you more than I ever liked you.
With each day that passed I became the one person who judged you the most. Who condemned your decisions and shook my head at your naïve ways. You see I was the older one, the wiser one. The one who knew better and out of the two of us the one who was better.
Carefully planned decisions, weighed up options, savings and responsibility, I was better in every way. All the things you thought you had to think about later. Worry about later. These were the things I had to deal with every day. Had to juggle and work through, strain through and slowly feel exhausted from.
While you with your effortless thin body and your flawless skin, the nights you spent tucked away with a book and endless days spent sleeping. I resented you for these. I wanted you to get up and stop wasting your days. Start grappling with life and all of its responsibility. Give me a head start and a helping hand. But you mocked me with your dreams and free spirit.
Miss Seventeen I owe you an apology because I was wrong. Wrong in almost every way. My disapproval and disappointment has mellowed down to seek your humble forgiveness. For your strong willed, defiant spirit I owe you my heart in gratitude. For you kept the light burning. You kept the spirit simmering through the times when I was slowly losing my way. The dreams you so violently held onto I found still clenched in your grasp. Even after I had let them go from mine.
The books you read and the hopes that danced in your head with each page and each character you fell in love with have come back to me. The fire never stopped burning, even when I did everything to fan away the smoke. You believed in all possibility. You believed in life. You believed in me.
Now it is my turn to believe in us. For while our friendship may have waned through time and rocked through the motions of growing older, getting married, paying a mortgage and juggling two kids, you never closed the door and left. Even with my back turned and my mind closed you stood by me. Now it is my turn to stand by you.
Miss Seventeen in your carefree ways, abundance for life and passion for dreaming I have come back to offer my apologies. I am sorry for not believing in you. I am sorry for being the one to condemn and criticise you. I am sorry that I cut the connection that made you me.
I sit here now with needle and thread to stitch and mend that connection. To find a way that makes us whole again. Miss Seventeen you are awesome.
What would you say to your seventeen year old self?
Is there a teenager in your life who despite their apparent flaws is actually quite awesome?
Is there an old signed school uniform hiding in your closet?
Conversations over Coffee returns Thursday February 26, 2015.
Conversations with Change ~ everyone is welcome.
Thank you to Where the Wild Things Were for next month’s prompt.