Things I learned when I was that age: How the things to be afraid of don’t hide in a dark closet; how to be silent in the face of rage; how to not stand out; how to run; how to hide; how to keep down expectations; how to swallow emotions, and pride, and blood; how to accept not being accepted; how to eat pain; how to play alone.
When I got older I turned most of those things around and now those scars are but faint reminders of damage long healed.
Things I know at my age now: How to wear a strong face when feeling small; how to conceal sadness behind laughter; how to let go; how to run with the black dogs; how to dance with disappointment…
How to accept that in the end the things I want most in life won’t work out;
Sometimes in the wee hours before dawn, when stars still rule the night sky, I stand out on my back deck wrapped in silence and wonder what I did so wrong… when I was that age. Once, I looked up at a half full moon and thought I saw hope on its face.
I’m sure I must have been dreaming.