Today, I am a Big Girl

I remember the first day of school,

Thinking that I was cool in my little flannel skirt and button up shirt.

The innocence in my head of what the world was going to be like.

The hunger and thirst for knowledge,

As I hitched my little red backpack and headed out the door.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

My mother hugged me and gave me a kiss,

Told me to tell her my stories when I arrived home.

I remember the smell of newly sharped pencils as I lay them out on my desk,

I was smiling wide and big.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

So young was I, so naïve was I, thinking that the big world was all the best.

I remember the first time my daddy told me to put all my things in boxes.

We were moving right across the river, but at the age of nine, that was a big world.

Nothing felt like mine any more.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first time I went to the airport and they called my name,

You are going to Spain all by yourself, they said.

I remember stepping off that flight and running into my Abuela’s arms,

The last time when everything was going to be okay.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first time I dealt with loss,

When I was told my mentor, friend and Abuelo was gone for good.

I remember the first time I dealt with pain,

When I saw my best friend, powerful mother deal with taking her first baby steps again.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first time words scarred,

By those pretty girls who cornered me in a public bathroom and said I was a shame and no good.

I remember the first time the only person who believed in me at the time,

Who told me to smile,

Decided to end his life for good.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first day of high school,

Taylor Swift’s words ringing in my head at fifteen.

High school was nothing like that,

But Oregon was the best place I found.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first time I was told I love you by a boy I loved too.

I ended up with a broken heart

When two days later

He grabbed my best friend’s hand and said she was better than me.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first time I ended up in the locker rooms of the pool,

Crying my eyes out, thinking I would be in trouble if I was caught losing my cool.

Wondering why I had seen him at the end of the lane, cheering me on.

Abuelo.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first time onstage,

Content with the outcome,

Of no longer being me

For the total of two hours, as I sang and danced my way out of life.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first day of my last at LO High,

When my friends gave me a group hug,

And we laughed about those good old times.

I headed home to where those boxes packed waited again.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

I remember the first day of my last at school,

Couldn’t wait for it to end,

So I could finally chase those dreams

And be me for myself.

Being the new girl was getting old.

“Today, I am a big girl”.

All those years,

Wishing I was the big girl I am,

So I could be proud.

How naïve was I,

For now all I want to be is that little girl on her first day of school.

today

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