Sixteen. It’s the magic age where you can drive. Its a romantic time where they call you sweet. I used to think it was when you fell in love forever. It is the year that all of your dreams come true. Unless you’re me.
I was scared to turn sixteen. I didn’t want the day to come. I don’t know where I got the idea, but somehow I knew that sixteen would change everything. I was losing my innocence and going into a world of unknown and scary things. Just because it was sweet, even though I could drive, and although I would fall in love and my dreams would come true, I dreaded my birthday.
I failed my knowledge test on the day that I turned sixteen. Even though it was just an exam, I cried and cried. I felt like a horrible failure. And although I was cheered by “happy birthdays,” cards, and presents, dinner out, and a call from a new, special friend, I was still miserable. Sixteen wasn’t sweet to me.
Sure enough, sixteen was anything like what I thought it would be. I never did drive and no one called me ‘sweet.’ My grandma died less than two months after my birthday. My grades dropped, and I hid myself in the mask because of my misconceptions on beauty. The feelings that I thought were “true love” soon turned into hurt as a friend disappointed me. Not one of my dreams came true. Sixteen was anything but sweet.
Today, I’m seventeen. Its been a year since all of this started, though it feels like a thousand. It is hard for me to believe that I am the same person who cried on her birthday, and wished that she could be eight again, just one year ago. I’m so happy today and life seems so worth living that now I finally feel sweet.
But that’s just the mystery of life, I guess. God never tells us what He has in store for us. Often, He gives us dreams and turns them into something totally different. And in the end, the grief and the suffering make the joy and the happiness much sweeter, even if sixteen wasn’t.