Eleven, I don’t know how I feel about you.
Eleven is confusing, because eleven is a year when parts of you are shifting, shifting so fast that you feel clunky and clumsy in your body. Some parts feel like they don’t fit you anymore, but you can’t just stuff them in a closet like last year’s dress. You have to wear them, even if you don’t know how.
Sometimes the outside of you feels so much bigger than the inside of you.
Sometimes the inside of you feels enormous, stretching high and wide and wild, threatening to crash. When the inside of you gets big like that you wonder. Do you run for cover? Do you ride it out? Will you drown? Do you maybe want to?
Eleven is when you hate being so old, because adults want to talk to you about embarrassing things and you have to pretend to listen when all you want to do is stick your head in your shell and be left alone. You’re expected to be responsible and use your head and how can you do that, when your heart is bursting and beating so fast?
Eleven is when you hate being so young, because sometimes you get treated like a baby, and people talk over you and around you like you can’t hear them, like your brain isn’t big enough to think and your soul too small to understand.
Eleven is full of things that are suddenly complicated.
Things that used to be simple seem loaded:
To hug or not to hug?
Speak up or swallow it down?
Should you take that offered hand?
Eleven is tug-of-war.
Eleven is hang on tight and let go.
Eleven is ferocious and beautiful.
“Because the way you grow old is kind of like an onion or like the rings inside a tree trunk or like my little wooden dolls that fit one inside the other, each year inside the next one. That’s how being eleven years old is.” ~Sandra Cisneros, “Eleven”