October 4, 2016


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”


big eyes baby mira

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Biz October 4, 2016 at 10:56 am

Beautifully written as usual. I do hope you have tacos and vodka on National Taco and Vodka Day today! Hugs!


Megan Phillips October 4, 2016 at 11:17 am

Eleven….to me was somewhere between 4th grade and 6th. Kind of fuzzy cuz it occurred between my first period and outdoor lab. Between Kansas city and Denver. Between being the tallest in my class (including my teacher) and my first kiss. Thank you for this post…leading to my reflection.


Dana Talusani October 4, 2016 at 7:02 pm

You got your period in 4th grade. I remember. You were ten. You had no idea what the fuck had happened, and the blood came out rusty-colored and you yelled for mom and we both ran into the bathroom. It was in Kansas City. She wasn’t nice. Mom thought you’d gotten a virus and crapped your pants, because you had a fever, too. Then, of course, she felt guilty. I was the one who got hers at outdoor lab, in sixth grade. Our family tree is not kind to girl-children.


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