Seventeen

Today is my seventeenth birthday. (Miraculous how quickly that one snuck up on me...) Amazingly enough, I wasn't too excited when I woke up this morning. Seventeen is just an age that seems to hold teenagers back. It falls between youth and adulthood ("legal" adulthood) which poses a challenge for many. We're allowed to join the military at seventeen, but not old enough to vote. We're in between the line of being tried as an adult or a child in court. We're also allowed to see rated R movies, but not make other decisions for ourselves.

Difficult spot to be in! It seems like the "odd" ages are the "off" ages. I.e. 13 when you can't apply for a job until 14. 15 when you can't drive until 16. 17 when you can't fully be your own person until 18. The only odd age to become excited about is 21! Either way, I do love my birthday.

It's miraculous to think of what I accomplish with each age I become. At 14 I applied and was accepted into my dream job at Polly's Pancake Parlor. At 15 I bought my dream car. At 16 I earned my driver's license, was accepted into college and landed an internship at the local paper! 17 isn't 18, but I still can cheat the system. Because I'm graduating high school a year early, I can move out of the house! In doing so I will also be treated more like an adult because I'll be a college student, and then soon enough 18 will roll around.

Despite counting down the days until February 1, 2013 (366 because of Leap Year), I do understand that I need to appreciate the point I'm currently at. Wait until I'm 42! However, I don't think aging should be a negative process. People OBSESS over how old they are and I think that's just ridiculous. A person doesn't magically become mature when they turn 18, nor do they magically develop wrinkles when they hit 40. It's all in the mind.

My advice to everyone out there is to be whatever age you want to be. Don't allow a number to hold power over you. It's miraculous to see 70 year-olds who look and act like 30 year-olds, but that's not difficult to accomplish. One just has to remain positive and appreciate what they can do. "I'm too old for that" is not an excuse and nor is "I'm too young for that" (unless the law is involved!) Just love where you are in life and appreciate where you've been, and where you are going. It's like driving: the driver has look ahead to see what's coming, but check the rear view mirror to see what's sneaking up from behind. The past will never disappear, but we all can choose what the future will be.