Taylor Swift has a new single out called “At fifteen” and it’s about what it’s like to be fifteen. And everything you know now that you never knew then. The first time I heard it I rolled my eyes and quickly changed the radio station. It was just another Taylor Swift poppy ‘Gee I love high school’ hit. Well if it’s playing on every station, eventually I just had to shut up and listen. And it grew on me. Not only did it grow on me, it made me think. “When you’re fifteen don’t forget to look before you fall”
Fifteen. Where was I at fifteen? I’d never been abroad, at the time I could count on one hand all the boys I had kissed, I was in Mr Guthrey’s freshmen American History class, Felicia Moseley was my best friend at the time, Mema was still alive, occasionally buying my lunches—as she was one of the esteemed members of the high school lunch room staff. Off the top of my head, that is really the only thing’s I remember about being fifteen. I remember sixteen. That’s when everything seems to have started changing
Oh fifteen. That was the age when I was thinking every boy who cared to look my way could be the one. Who knows maybe five years down the road…? That was my main though. There was one boy though… he lived a few towns over; we’d spend hours on the phone. And at that age, it’s so easy to believe and care about anything and everything going on. Needless to say that boy didn’t last to see me into my sophomore year.
Had someone come up to me at fifteen and told me that before the age of 21 I would live in two different countries besides the United States I would have laughed. Let alone if someone would have told me I’d do it all by myself —more or less—all the while learning a new language. So much has happened in life that I never could have imagined at fifteen. Certain friends never even made it to see eighteen. Certain boys would make me older, maybe even more jaded. People and places I never could have dreamt about at fifteen would become the center of my universe.
Oh to go back and talk to my fifteen year old self. What would I say? I’d tell myself to not quit cross country my senior year, that I’m not as fat as I thought I was at the time. That I shouldn’t worry so much about high school because the college I start out at doesn’t really have a high standard of acceptance–even though it’s a good school. To enjoy high school and college, especially the first semester because once it’s gone, it will never come back. And to stay young and slightly reckless as long as possible. Because even now I know when the reckless feeling leaves me (I feel like there’s a little less of it every day), everything will change.