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Growing up I would daydream about what I would be like in the future, and still to this day at seventeen years old I still wonder what ill be like in the future. As a kid I would look at the "big kids" in awe, they were tall and seemed to have so much freedom. I grew up around the big kids, I was the youngest in my family and the second youngest in the neighborhood, so the "big kids" were my role models. I can remember wishing I was one of them so bad, I wanted to be just like them, without even knowing what it took to be a big kid. To me that did not matter, I wanted to drive, I wanted to stay out late. Little did I realize growing up comes with all these new emotions and responsibilities.
I lived in a city till I was 12 and then moved to a little country town in New Hampshire. It was the biggest adjustment I ever had to make and it was not an easy one. To me, this was my first step in growing up; I had to meet all new people and leave everything I knew behind. This was not in any way the future I had planned for myself and although I was only twelve I could not possibly see a future for me in Litchfield. The people were different, sheltered. It seemed like they had no idea of anything outside of their little town and I could not stand to be here. This was the first year I experienced anxiety and depression. I would have panic attacks every morning before school and I would beg my mom to let me stay home. This was not the life I wanted for myself as a 6 year old. People constantly judged me because I was different, I was not doing the things that these
normal" twelve year olds were doing. But how could I possibly know any different? I had grown up around the big kids, in my eyes what I was doing was what everyone was doing. But I was wrong.
The first year at this new school was complete hell. I cried every single day and prayed something would happen that would prevent me from going to school. The year came to an end but my anxiety did not. I hoped that over the summer things would go back to normal and I could better prepare for the next school year but who was I kidding; this was not working for me and it was clear I needed to do something about it. Summer went by and I was dreading the next 8th grade school year. Sure enough the first day of school was upon me, and I wasn't any more prepared for it than I was the previous year. But there was something different about this year that I was unaware of on the first day of school. My saving grace and my soon to be best friend walked into my life and I didn't even realize it. There was an incident at the lockers where this boy that had a crush on me asked for my number and I completely froze and didn't know what to say. The person who would soon become my primary source of happiness stepped in and made up an excuse for me and I couldn't have been more grateful, but I didn't think that it would cause what it did later in the year.
Flash forward 2 months and I have finally made a friend, a best friend. He became my absolute world and we talked every single day, everything was perfect and I couldn't imaging my life without him. Throughout this year I still struggled with anxiety and depression, but I had him to help me through it and he made it so convincing that he truly cared. As the year came to a close and we were about to graduate from middle school, he would say to me that he never wanted to lose me and we absolutely HAD to stay in touch, which is exactly what we did. All summer we were joined at the hip, hung out every day and continued to get close, everything was great right?
Before I knew it my freshman year was right in front of me and I was terrified. How was I already a freshman, I was slowly becoming a "big kid" but it was absolutely nothing like I had imagined. My best friend and I had drifted apart and things were said between us that I never imagined would be said. But what could I do, he wanted nothing to do with me and I wanted everything to do with him. The feeling that I felt I would never wish on anyone. I sat up at night crying for four months, my freshman year was spent with tears in my eyes and a frown on my face. I had come to the realization that growing up was not something I was ready for, I did not want it anymore and I wanted out. I couldn't physically or mentally take it anymore and I resorted to some unhealthy and dangerous habits. As high school progressed, so did my habits, but things seemed to be getting better. I had a solid group of friends, that did not accept my habits, but they were there for support and that all I could ever ask for.
This is growing up, and it's nothing like I had ever imagined. I am now seventeen years old, a junior in high school and have finally learned what it means to grow up. It means learning, experiencing, and hurting. Accepting responsibility and finding ways to deal with the situations you are thrown into. I wish that I knew then what I know now because things would have gone a lot easier for me. You lose people in life but that just a part of life and I know that now, I know that it's okay to feel depressed and anxious and I know that everyday I am growing as a person and can only hope to become the person I hope to be knowing now what I know.