What Would You Do If You Woke Up Fifteen Again?


I've wanted to meet myself at fifteen for a very long time now. I'm fascinated by the person I was at fifteen, because everything about who I ws before then felt like I was working up to something, like my personality was a story still being written. Fifteen, to me, was the first full draft of who I am still growing into today.  At that age, I was so certain of myself, who I was, and what I wanted. I was determinedly emo and so viciously proud of that, I could have talked to you for hours about the origins of emo in the 90s and how all these bands were inspired by critically acclaimed British bands from the 80s, and insist that the music was legitimate and beautiful, and tell you that your opinions were wrong. I would have stared at you silently, venomously, screaming at you in my head that only fucking posers who want to look cool in front of their friends actively shit on emo music.

Gerard Way was my Wordsworth, Pete Wentz was my Keats, Ryan Ross my Coleridge. I would stay up at night analyzing their words like poetry, and analysing poetry in class like it was lyrics. I saw poetry, music, and beauty in everything and poetry and music were everything that could be beautiful to me.

I would also always talk about how "white" I act....a way of combating how out of place I felt amongst other black kids who didn't dress like me or listen to the kinds of music I did. A misguided, stupid, and cringeworthy way of lashing out against what I perceived to be a rejection by my own kind.

I still relaxed my hair back then, was furious with everyone and everything around me, and I didn't know that all the scary feelings, tight-chestedness, crying, and numbness was panic attacks, and they were happening daily.

I could never be her again, I am in no way physically able to deal with all that she went through all over again. I've been meditating on this all morning since I woke up from a terrifying dream.

In my dream, I was in love with my very first crush all over again, and the world seemed to be coming to an end all around us but we were running away together? The overarching story is unimportant, the important thing was in the dream I felt like I was that age again, younger even than fifteen, and everything was falling into place, but like the place I imagined everything falling into when I was that age.

I think, sometimes, about waking up and being that age again, how I would do so many things differently and benefit from my knowledge and just live life to the fullest. When I woke up from my dream, however, my first reaction was to be utterly sick with terror.

"Oh God," I thought. "I have to be a teenager again. I have to go through all of that again. All the emotional and personal maturing I've gone through, all the pain and all the mistakes, all the miserable time I had to spend getting over these boys I fell in and out of love with, and I have to do it all again? No no no no no..."


I think it was what I needed, actually, because I fantasize about just escaping from life and back to being a teenager all the time. I wonder what it would be like, what I would do to change things. This dream, or rather the feeling of dread the dream gave me, showed me what it would be like: horrific. I would be sitting around forcing myself to get through school again and just weighed down by the misery of being that age. I shouldn't look back on my past with rose-coloured glasses and get lost in 'what-ifs', that's stupid and destructive.

I need to look into the scary, scary future instead. I can still make good with that.

God, I never want to be a teenager again. Thinking about it makes me want to vomit.

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