I Turned 17 Today

17 years ago I came into this world and was immediately put into intensive care and had a 50% chance of dying. If I lived, the doctors said, I would be perfectly normal. (Looks like they blew that one!)

I think about the teenage years with 13 as the tweener year, 14-15-16 as the first set, and 17-18-19 as the last set. The difference between being 14 and 16 is huge, the gap is narrower between 17 and 19. At 17, I still can’t vote or be drafted.

When I look back at old emails I sent when I was 12 or 13 or even 14 or 15, the vast difference in my writing ability shocks me. When I look back at my overall knowledge and sophistication about the world a few years ago it is funny.

The adolescent years contain more emotional, physical, and intellectual development than any other period in our lives. Neurons are still being connected (but only for a few more years). I’m excited about getting smarter and more savvy about the world around me.

I am still a kid, I’m still a teenager, and I’m still cherishing the special moments that come with this time of my life. But I’m also ready to burst out of these walls I’ve had to live in and go make an impact on civilization. I believe I can do anything.

Finally, I’m grateful. Each and every day I can get hit by a bus or be involved in a freak accident or be disabled. I have none of those restrictions. Saying I am “lucky” is a humongous understatement.

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