Thirteen Year Olds

This post will probably seem pretty annoying to my real adult readers (granted, there are like three of them). I’m not talking about fake adults (i.e. people around my age who can vote but are still not at all independent from their parents). No, you’ll probably find this post fine. Real adults, though, should probably leave, or prepare to be irritated.

I warned you.

Ciara’s little sister, Julia, turned thirteen last week. The fact sort of boggles my mind. In the first place, it boggles my mind because Ciara and I have been friends for eight years… and, I don’t know, I never really expected Julia to grow up so much. We see each other frequently enough that most of the change I see in her is very gradual, and it’s easy to forget she’s not still the five year old I met all those years ago. But now she’s almost taller than Ciara, and the facts are getting hard to ignore.

Julia, if you’re reading this, I think you’re a great thirteen year old, just like you were a great five year old. It’s just crazy to think you’ll be in high school in 14 months.

But it also boggles my mind because she’s still really young. Which means I was still really young at thirteen, even though I took myself quite seriously. Which means I am probably still really young at eighteen, even though I can vote and shoot a gun and die for my country and everything. Also, from the outside, her experience of being thirteen looks so different from my experience of being thirteen. She seems largely happy-go-lucky when I was often mopey at that age… things for her just seem less complex than I remember them being. But then again, maybe she feels all the complexity I did, and this is what it looks like from the outside. It’s a good reminder that you can’t really assume much about people’s motivations or feelings, because what you see on the surface might not be representative of what’s underneath.

And I should say I was a terrible thirteen year old. It was not my finest moment. But I was so convinced, within myself, that my behavior was justified. It’s one of my biggest reminders to myself of just how wrong I can be. If I ever need to be humbled, I can just think of how I was in seventh grade.

I think me saying this will irritate real adults, because basically from my vantage point of eighteen years, I’m realizing, “oh, thirteen is very young.” But when I’m twenty-five, say, I might realize that eighteen is pretty young, too. I guess it’s all relative. Maybe you never grow up totally and you’re still the same person inside, just with more skill and experience and more ability to act mature. It kind of makes me wonder why I felt so much disgust with most adults as a little kid.


For various reasons, I’ve been writing so much of late that I feel like words are going to start falling out of my ears. It really destroys my ability to proofread, because I stare at words so much that they just start to look like lines on the page, devoid of meaning. Ciara has been kind enough to read most of my writing that actually matters, which I really appreciate.

I’ve also been on my college class year’s Facebook page quite a bit recently. It’s alright, but sometimes the discussions get irritating. For instance, the whole class had to do drug and alcohol training as well as some sex ed/consent training online. The training itself was as painless as anything that scripted can be, but it prompted a whole thread of discussion about consent on the class Facebook page. Fair enough, that’s probably a good discussion. But then, several people commented only to say things like “this is such a mature discussion!” or “wow, you guys have such evolved viewpoints!” I generally don’t like it when people pat themselves on the back, and this was especially irritating. For me, it destroys an interesting/fruitful discussion to point out how good it is. I wish people would stick to the ideas, not the weird self-pleasuring stuff.

I might live to regret the above paragraph if many people from my class find this post. Luckily, the internet is so vast no one will likely take notice.

On the updates on activities front, Ciara and I spent the entire morning cleaning. Mary wants it to look nice for when Ciara’s dad Jesse and his friend Jeff get here on Saturday. I hope I am not a too annoying houseguest, making everything messy. I know I’m not the neatest person, so I’m trying very hard to go against my nature and not leave anything askew.


4 thoughts on “Thirteen Year Olds

  1. Hey, there girl!

    You show remarkable insight into your maturation process, and the contrast with Julia helps you to realize who you are and your characteristics. Who said, “The unexamined life is not worth living”? And blogging is an excellent way to analyze yourself. When you have to think clearly enough to render your thoughts into words, you are doing great! Everyone should be so self examining and self aware!

    And you are also brave to share your perceptions. I journal regularly, but never share my journals. Makes me wonder if anyone else in your immediate family journals? I would guess “no” for your dad, but Chris and your mom might be different.

    Good on the cleaning and “redding up”. Have you heard that expression, “redding up”? Actually, I’m not sure of the spelling, only the pronunciation. It means to straighten up a mess (like my house most of the time). I think it has a German origin, since only people descended from the Pennsylvania Dutch use it (which means German descendents in Pennsylvania–I am clueless where the “Dutch” part came in). It was commonly used as I was growing up, maybe because standards for housekeeping were a lot stricter back then.

    But redding up has its advantages! It helps to clear the mind of clutter when the environment is free of clutter. Sort of a feng shui (sp?) thing. It’s just hard to keep the clutter under control because I am, like you, basically a messy person.

    BTW, it appears that I will have at least two male students from Saudi Arabia in my class this fall (along with the usual cohort of Chinese). Already I am aware that I have pre-judged them to be arrogant, privileged pricks. In Saudi Arabia, women cannot vote or even drive! So this self awareness thing is important. I have to be aware of my own prejudices and consciously work to control them.

    Have you found out about Irish yogurt cultures (bacterial cultures) yet?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I think I might have some prejudice against men from certain countries as well. Who knows, though, I might meet some that blow my thoughts out of the water. Have not yet found about bacteria cultures. Do not think yogurt is big in Ireland as a traditional food.


  2. Interesting thoughts. I noticed that thread but didn’t think of it from this perspective before. Reading it again, I’m not sure I see a lot of back-patting, but perhaps the more important difference is that I feel that the Internet at large is somewhat infamous for making anything remotely gender-related devolve into hate-filled spirals of threats and harassment *cough* Gamergate *cough*, so I do think some praise is totally understandable. Not that I’ve participated in either discussion myself.

    Liked by 1 person

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