When I was Seventeen

Last night, I dreamed about time-travel. In the dream, I’d been transported back to a time where I could have made some very different choices. I had to decide whether to stay in the past where I could change the course of my life, or return to the present where I am living with the results of all the decisions I made. I chose to return to the current time. In the past, I’ve made poor decisions, some of which I regret. But the major, life-changing decisions I’ve made have led me to this point. I’ve learned lessons from those struggles. What is life without learning?

The following Quatern was inspired by that dream and by a poem I shared on this blog yesterday. Kay Kauffman’s brilliant poem (which you can read here) made me think about the past and how the plans we make as a teen or young adult are often completely derailed. As a teenager, my plans were vague. There were choices I should have made, which I did not. I’ve since learned that going with the flow, or letting others choose for me, IS making a choice. I’ve also realized how completely amazing my parents were and how much they sacrificed for their children.

I want to thank Kay for posting such a thought-provoking piece. I would also like to thank Maureen at NaPoWriMo for inspiring so many poets all over the world. Without this monthly challenge, I wouldn’t have written any of the poems I’ve written this month, including this one:

When I was Seventeen

When I was seventeen years old
and invincible, nothing could
touch me. I would never succumb
to the ailments that plagued others.

A dozen times I fell in love
when I was seventeen years old.
Each new love was declared the one,
my soul mate. Until we broke up.

I strayed from the mainstream but not
too far. Still cared what others thought.
When I was seventeen years old,
my identity was fluid

I made choices without choosing,
but not choosing is still a choice.
I wish I would have known all that
when I was seventeen years old.

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10 thoughts on “When I was Seventeen

  1. Now THIS is a brilliant poem, Tricia. So many of the choices I made when I was 17 are still impacting my life today, but like you, I’ve learned a lot from them.

    Thank you again for sharing mine – I’m so glad it inspired you! 🙂


  2. I think we were a lot alike at seventeen, Tricia. I’ve had to console myself with the fact that the good things – those uncommon blessings – that I have today are because of those terrible decisions (or non-decisions!) I made when I was young.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really let life take me on a crazy path, but I’m happy with where I am now. I figure if I’d changed thing anywhere along the way, I might not have had my kids. I can’t regret anything that led to those wonderful blessings!

      Liked by 1 person

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