My Explanation

I want to explain to you that I’m average, but I’m one of a kind. I’m a typical teenager, but I’m unique. I want to explain my life to you, but it is impossible to explain one’s life in a few pages.
I’m an average 17 year-old white girl living in an average upper-middle class suburb with both of my average parents on Long Island. I’ve never met the President, I’ve never traveled to Africa, and I’ve never cured cancer. I’ve never rescued a cat from a tree, I’ve never helped birth a baby, and I’ve never been on an exotic journey.
In 17 years I’ve done a lot, but nothing extraordinary. I wish I could explain all that I’ve done. All of the times I’ve laughed and cried. All of the times I’ve lost people who were important to me, and met new friends that have filled gaps in my heart.

All of the times I’ve read books for hours straight, and watched TV for endless amounts of time. All of the times I’ve been afraid, and I’ve helped others conquer their fears. All of the times I’ve felt alone and felt overwhelmed. All of the times I’ve listened to the same song on repeat for hours, and sat in silence. All of the times I’ve been to funerals, and been to baptisms. All of the times I’ve made others laugh, and made others cry. I wish I could explain it all to you because all of these small ordinary pieces of my life are important.
In 17 years I’ve experienced many emotions. I wish I could explain to you all that I’ve felt. All of the emotions that have shaped the person that I am today. How I felt when my Grandpa died. How I felt when people made fun of my acne. How I felt when I came in second place in a poetry contest. How I felt on my 17th birthday. How I felt on September 11th, 2001. How I felt when I scored three goals in my lacrosse game. How I felt while riding Kingda Ka at Six Flags. How I felt on my first day of sleep away camp in 4th grade. How I felt on my first day of work. How I felt on the first day of high school. But it is simply impossible to explain it all. How can anyone explain all of the emotions that they have felt in their life?
In 17 years I’ve learned a lot about myself. I wish I could explain to you everything that I’ve learned. Everything that makes me the person that I am. The person who is allergic to peanut butter. The person who can’t sing. The person who sometimes eats when she’s bored. The person who is shy. The person who is creeped out by bugs. The person who is naturally nervous. The person who gets sunburnt easily. The person who is a perfectionist. The person who hates when people make racist jokes. The person who is a pacifist. The person who is sarcastic. But I can’t tell you everything about myself because I don’t know everything about myself yet.
In 17 years I’ve met a lot of people. I wish I could explain to you the impact that each person has had on my life. The impact of my babysitter that watched me from the time I was a few months old up until I was in fifth grade. The impact of my third grade teacher that let me help grade papers. The impact of my first friend that I met in kindergarten. The impact of my first crush that I played tag with on the playground. The impact of the third graders that I spent an entire summer with. The impact of my seventh grade social studies teacher who I could talk to like a friend. The impact of all of my family members. The impact of all my friends. The impact of my parents. Too many people have touched my life to just choose one to write about.
In 17 years I’ve learned important life lessons too. We all have. I wish I could explain to you how and when I learned them all. But I can’t pinpoint when I learned all of these lessons because it happened over a matter of time. I can tell you that I learned the world is a cruel place. I learned that people change. I learned that people say things that they don’t mean. I learned that everything happens for a reason, even if it doesn’t make sense at the time. I learned to cherish the time that I have with people because they can be gone in an instant. I learned to be grateful for all that I have. I’ve learned that change can be a good thing. And I continue to learn new lessons each day. Lessons that will make me understand life.
In 17 years I’ve lived an ordinary life. A life that cannot be explained in a couple of pages. A life that cannot be summarized by one experience, one person, one feeling or one lesson. I’ve lived a life that I’m proud of.

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