I remember occasional trips to Catskills to see my grandpa and grandma from my dad’s side.
I remember the girl who lived downstairs in the apartment I lived in for 5-8 years, and how she and her sister always wanted to play dolls with me.
I remember my obsession with Monster High, Barbie, and My Little Pony.
I remember being told constantly how irresponsible and clumsy I was for always losing something.
I remember my other obsession of headbands, and questionable clothing choices.
I remember being labeled the best drawer in 3-5th grade, and going all out for any assignment that required some sort of art skill.
I remember my best friend, who hit puberty surprisingly early, and me having questions but not wanting to seem disrespectful or offensive.
I remember everyone telling me to stop biting my nails, how my fingers will turn out ugly, but no matter how hard I try the urge keeps coming back.
I remember letting my nails grow for as long as possible so I can get them done, but it never really lasted long.
I remember nostalgic Spanish songs being played at the barbecues and hangouts my family threw.
I remember wanting a sister, then getting annoyed when she acts like me.
I remember my mother also planning for a baby boy, but something tragic happened.
I remember the big house I lived in in New Jersey for about 4 years, and my big room in it.
I remember complaining about how I don’t have enough shoes, and now I can’t decide which shoes to wear.
I remember constantly going on my computer and playing Animal Jam.
I remember watching Youtube and watching people play the games I wished I could, and how my parents called the videos “weird”.
And I remember calling my sister weird when she watches the same type of videos I used to.
I remember getting mad because my dad picked me up from school while my friends went home with each other, but then later on being grateful for it.
I remember getting upset because my sister got her phone at age 6, but I just got my first phone in 6th grade.
I remember wanting an iPod just so I could play music, but my parents denied it, and my sister Facetimes her friends daily.
I remember being such a nice person that i’d let myself get “thrown around” and teased by the people I called “friends”.
I remember wanting to be popular, so I started acting like it, but it never worked for me, so I gave up.
I remember wanting curly hair while everyone complimented my straight hair.
I remember everyone calling me white even though I was Puerto Rican, just because I was so pale.
I remember my huge obsession with reading, and how I collected all of the “Warriors”, “I Survived”, and Raina Telgemeier books.
I remember  bringing way too much money to my school’s book fairs, and people wanting me to buy them something or calling me lucky.
I remember intense dodge ball competitions in the gym or recess.
I remember being so excited to grow up, and now wanting to freeze time.
I remember my parents telling me being an adult isn’t easy, and as an adult i’d realize that when I am one.

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Youth Voices is an open publishing platform for youth. The site is organized by teachers with support from the National Writing Project. Opinions expressed by writers are their own.All work on Youth Voices is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

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