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By: Emma Callahan

I opened my freezer and grabbed a cherry popsicle. As I ate the popsicle, an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction spurred. As a child, I never truly enjoyed the sweet treat; I only ever thought of the disappointment bound to come when the desert would be gone. It is a sad thought; even in my youth, I was not present. Humans are a beat ahead, or a lifetime behind; how can we live in the light and not in the shadows?


I woke up in distress, my head pounding. A single tear fell down my face as I felt the darkness through my walls. My mother told me something earlier that day that stayed with me. At eight, my empathy for other people's stories kept me up at night. At 16, I can sleep soundly. Maybe part of growing up is letting go of the stories you can’t control, but how come I feel like growing up is the loss of all the stories in the world?


Sometimes I just want to be held again. I carry myself like I weigh nothing. Sometimes my feet are too heavy on the ground, and all I need is my mom to hold me. Your childhood does not end with your first PG-13 movie or a brand new phone. It ends the minute your parents stop holding you—when you're left to stand on your own.

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