In decades past, 17 was an age where a male could be considered a man. He had his own job – some had their own businesses. A female was considered a woman. She had lived her girlish thrills and now she was learning to be a wife, a mother, and a caretaker. 17 was the age of maturity, independence, and success in one’s life fulfillment.

Now, 17 seems only a middle ground between restraint and abandonment. Adulthood seems like being thrust into cold and unforgiving waves whereas childhood was like being a dog in a choke chain, on a short leash, in a fenced-in yard.

I’m not sure what my role is at 17. I have a world of opportunities to choose from. Still, nothing is fulfilling, nothing is satisfying. Every day I have a new dream and every evening I fear a new nightmare. 17 is a languishing age now. It’s waiting in purgatory. It’s finding your way through a long, dim forest, barely seeing. The scratches and falls are bearable at first – it’s going to end soon, after all. But the days, months, years grow longer and suddenly you’re wondering if there’s ever an end to the woods.

Where am I supposed to be?


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