Growing old is not growing up

On Sunday I will be turning 21 years old. I guess that is some sort of mile stone for most people, yet as much as I try to feel excited or proud of it I just really dont care. It's just another number, the same as it was when I turned 18 or 19 or 20. Most of my friends consider 21 to be the marker of when you finally become an adult. As though all of a sudden you have a birthday and whoa look how grown up you are. I don't. I starting growing up long before now, in fact as a child I always felt a little bit older than everyone else my own age simply because I had been thrown into growing up much to fast. 21 doesnt make me the Woman I am, it doesnt make me responsible or ready for the world. Growing old is not growing up.

By the age of four my parents had already divorced, I knew why they were divorced as I was told quite openly that it was because my Father screwed up and met someone else, whatever that meant to me then I knew he had pretty much just left us for another person, that is how I understood it. There are children in countries around the world where by four years old they have already lived four years of life surrounded by war, and grief. There are four year old's digging through piles of rubbish on the side of the street trying to find food for their younger brothers and sisters so they will survive another day. For those kids, four years old is a milestone, four years old should never have to be a milestone of survival, but it is for kids who may not make it to five.

I developed earlier than most of my school friends which also handed me a rough deal at school, and pretty much marked the beginning of the abuse at age 11. By then I knew much more than I should have known, about sex and life and about how screwed up these 'grown ups' could be. By age 11 there are girl's in the world who are being forced to marry men more than twice their age, forced by such 'grown ups' who should be protecting them. Those girl's are grown up already.

Everyday is a milestone when making it to tomorrow is a battle alone. I know there are plenty of kids in this world of ours who, sadly, are far wiser, far more grown up than many of the over 21 year old's I know.

So, nearing my 21st year of life I would like to dedicate this blog to kids who had/have it rough, like me, like many, whose courage should be recognised more often instead of just their neediness. Those kids are soldiers. Those kids dont need a 2 and a 1 to be grown ups, and they found that out the hardest way.