I sat watching these teenage girls spill their guts, smarts, and talents to an audience. It was a familiar feeling. I've done it before. Three years of 8th grade speakers and four years of senior speakers. Go RPCS. It was so familiar. The only thing different now was that the speakers weren't my peers. I was still watching 17 year olds speak, but I am no longer 17.
Suddenly I remembered my simultaneously defiant and driving urge to leave. I wanted to be so fiercely independent. Get out. Make my own decisions. Move on. Start fresh. Make a new... life. in New York City. Dancing.
Funny, not much has changed.
But at 25, I remembered 17, via the talented young ladies of the Girls Write Now program who shared their writing (narratives, poems, essays, lyrics) with an audience. I wondered, what do I know now that I wish I had known then? When I stood in front of an audience of my peers, teachers and parents alike, and shared a personal essay, I wondered what insight this Sydnie could have given that Sydnie?
I am sure that in due time we learn what we need to know for the next moments in our lives. But I am not sure that I could have offered any more advice to myself, other than that I received from my loved ones at the time. So I ask you, my readers, to remember 17 and tell me what advice might you give at your age now, to your 17 year old self?