At the crossroad of ages | Teen Ink

At the crossroad of ages

September 16, 2021
By colesallegra BRONZE, Quinsac, Other
colesallegra BRONZE, Quinsac, Other
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

At the crossroad of ages



I am sixteen, and I am at the crossroad of ages.

Often, I find myself wanting to do activities that old people do, and wanting to live like a retired grandmother. That makes me wish I had already learnt everything, lived everything, only have richness to pass down and be seen like an old sage. I wish I was listended to that way. I feel like a happy and cosy old lady when I do things like crochet, writing my memories, looking at small children, doing very gentle exercise, colouring and puzzles… I also wish at times that I could just be a shepherd in the mountains or a lonely grandmother making raspberry jam and doing botanical painting. Just to have that peace of existence, of ‘I’ve lived long already, I don’t deserve anything, it’s all extra’ and ‘I can just enjoy waiting now.’


On another hand, I am being more and more introduced into the adult world. Adults are stating to take me seriously and talk to me as an equal, about mature subjects. One main step is that I have my first real job at Les Mousquetaires, taking care of groups of children. That does something, because it is one of the first times that I feel ‘on the other side of the picture’: I have been the child that I now have to babysit, and even more so, I remember being that child. Memories fly back to my head sometimes when I am working. It can feel quite unreal though, since I remember how I would have judged the other animators, what  I would have thought about them, about me! And also, this means I now earn money, the main box to tick for passing the ‘adult’ test. Although I am nowhere near independence, the money gives me a margin of freedom — in which parents interfere of course. Also, I am finding that I have acquired a certain maturity, identity, and opinion. When I ask questions, people don’t answer “You’ll understand when you’re older” that much anymore, but instead take me seriously and discuss real matters with me as we both learn. I have even noticed that reaction difference from adults towards young kids.


Young kids… “As if you were old”, you might say. Well, this is the part that is most unpleasant: talking about now, about the present, the age I really am today — especially at the moment. Two weeks ago, I could not have written this, but now I really understand what they meant when they said adolescence was a time when your emotions are all over the place. Today, 2nd of April 2021, this definition is my daily, even ‘secondly’, life. “Change, and change, and change…”.Things are so sudden and unbalancing that all I can tell myself is ‘time passes, I will grow out of this’! To describe it, for he younger ones or the old who have forgotten, I feel emotionally unstable and weakened, by I don’t know what. Emotions, usually joy or sadness, bloom inside me like a brainwashing tsunami, extreme and unjustified. And this is not my ‘normal’ state, because I used to be quite controlled, measured, and healthy — I would rarely feel the need to cry. Reassuringly, some traits of Allegra have persisted: in the moment I needed to cry, I lied down on my pillow and ‘felt the sadness’, giving space to live and time to manifest itself. I then tensed up my muscles to try and bring out the relieving emotion, and when I relaxed, I suddenly found myself relieved by happiness! I smiled and laughed unbelievingly, addressing a sarcastic internal ‘roll of the eyes’ to whoever it is controls my emotions. That person has gone into a deep and renewing sleep at the moment.


Some things make me feel incredibly young. Usually, this means I feel rather clueless and inexperienced. Recently, as I discovered the reality of the daily life of abused children, I thought: “I really know nothing”. In this case, I was so thankful that I knew nothing, yet the revelation was quite an overload on the moment. I have another example. I went on my first ‘date’, this being purely in the literal sense of the term, as I am nowhere near ready for the serious stuff. This made me feel very young and ignorant, in a way that I already laugh about as if my retrospect was years and years ahead — I was thinking this the very first second I was alone again! The experience was nearly all tinted by a feeling that we were just two young and ignorant creatures, experimenting and trying to learn the way of life by themselves, in a way that would make experts laugh very hard, I think. In any case, although I had a very enjoyable and romantic time, I was often reminded of the old lady laughing inside me.

On the positive side of being young however, is my fully functional body. I am aware of the lack of attention my body requires: no recurrent pain, no long diagnosis, no complaints under moderate to high levels of stress levels, easy recovery, high energy and mobility… And although I know this does not last forever, I like to forget it doesn’t and appreciate it whilst it is here — health.


Lastly, we are the result of our past, and the child I was is still very present in me, the only thing is that now, I am aware of it. A vast majority of the time, my future is like a comfortable blanket covering me, weightless. The only times it is not are when I try to predict what it might be, and when I think of the inevitable pain that I am going to endure. I also keep in mind the strange but possible outcome that I might die or something, tomorrow maybe, who knows. In general however, the future is a comfort zone, a cosy refuge.

When I go to the park with my younger friends, and we playgames, laugh, and live in the universe of childhood together, I feel blessed to still be enjoying this so much, and also feel a bit of nostalgia of the times I would play outside as a real child. But forever, I will live the universe of the children’s park, as time drives me through the crossroads of ages.




Allegra, 16.

The author's comments:

I am sixteen and soon I will be seventeen, which is why I write as I go along. Soon, I won’t ever be able to say that “I am sixteen”! 

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