My mind has always been so much other than my skin can believe. I am trapped in a time I don’t belong in. There had been some great, universal fuck up and for some ungodly reason I was born years after I was supposed to. This is what I believe, this is the best I can come up with.
When people who don’t know me walk past me in the street, they are seeing me in my mistaken physical body. They are seeing the tall, female, teenager with headphones and red hair and they immediately they think of every stereotype that fits the profile. Goth, punk, rebel, insecure, probably depressed. It goes on. But then I smile at them, or perhaps I trip over my own feet, or maybe I’m walking with my friends or my little sister and the list of stereotypes change in order to accommodate the context. They see me as the colossal cock-up in the timeline that I am. They see me at fourteen.
I am fourteen.
But also, I’m not.
On the internet I can be mistaken for a uni student or something of that genre. My words are too long, and I know too much, and I talk too much, and I’m too tall, and I listen too much. Sometimes I make political statements during PE and get into feministic debates with my teachers. This is not supposed to happen, I’m told.
Because I am fourteen and from what I have heard fourteen years olds aren’t supposed to be able to talk about the battle strategies of Napoleon and his march into Russia, they’re not meant to try and write books or be critical about themselves unless it’s about how much they weigh. They’re not meant to lecture their teachers about lecturing girls who’s skirts show ‘too’ much thigh. I am not who I am meant to be.
According to what society basis normality on at least.
It all comes down to age doesn’t it? You have to be old enough to do a lot of things legally, for good reasons too. I wouldn’t trust half of my peers with a pair of car keys, but I would think my sister old enough to learn to drive, despite her being a year below the legal age. There are a lot of things I would trust myself with, but, in the past, I haven’t been a very good judge of what I should be allowed to do.
And then you have to think where people get the ‘old enough’ laws.
Stereotypes of course, generalisations galore. The stereotype of a fifteen year old isn’t a pretty one, but the sixteen year old stereotype, perhaps you would trust that with a great hunk of metal that rolls along flat surfaces when you push the right buttons.
Me, my sisters, my family, others stuck rudely in the wrong stereotype, we converge in places where you don’t have to think about the rules of society. Where grown adults can argue feverishly with twelve year olds about what brand of ice cream tastes best in front of a marathon of Disney movies and where thirteen year olds can learn what they’re not meant to be learning yet.
This is the realm that I feel safe in.