Running in Circles


The year was 1996. I worked part-time at a small Italian restaurant, and was only two years away from getting my high school diploma. It was a strange time in my life, with moving out and then back into my parent’s home, finding love and then running from it, and making a variety of bad decisions in the meantime.

Being a teenager is the most difficult time in life, in my opinion. We go to school, have jobs, fight with our hormones, and deal with issues of life, some serious and others not. All the while, we’re trying to figure out who we are and where we’re going. That’s a lot of pressure for a kid. It was for me at least.

Although I would have never admitted it, not even to myself, I had no idea what I was doing. Every time I thought that I was on the right track, the outcome would quickly prove me wrong. For example, moving out of my parent’s home. At the time, I thought it was needful, and a wise choice. It wasn’t.

I quickly lost sight of my priorities; started failing classes at school, and bad choices were made one after the other. Before long I didn’t know right from left, and my future was starting to look rather bleak. So in an effort to straighten out my life, I moved back home.

It’s funny how a person runs away from something in order to find what they need, and all the while what they needed was what they ran away from.

I did that a lot while growing up. My whole life was full of circles. Thinking back, I could have avoided a lot of hard times and heartbreak had I just stayed in one place. But, I was too busy running to see that.

Running in circles. That’s what teenagers do. We run and run, trying desperately to find happiness, love and acceptance. We search for our place in this world, our purpose. Some take the easy route and walk around all the hurdles that come their way. But others, like me, head directly toward them. We trip, fall, and get up, only to do it all over again later.

No matter which route we take, many lessons are learned during our teenage years. Valuable lessons that we can pass onto others, to hopefully keep them from making the same choices.

Out of all the times in my life that I would love to relive, my teenage years is not one of them. Although I’m very grateful for the lessons learned, I sure am thankful that those years are over.

This post is in response to the Daily Post Prompt: Buffalo NickelΒ 

Dig through your couch cushions, your purse, or the floor of your car and look at the year printed on the first coin you find. What were you doing that year?

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26 Responses to Running in Circles

  1. CharleneMcD says:

    I just looked at your writing prompt and pulled a coin out of my purse. The year is 1988, I was 22 years old, my husband and I were both active duty Air Force, stationed at Lajes Field, Azores, Portugal. For almost half of that year I was pregnant with my second son, the other half I was spent raising a two year old and an infant. For such happiness it was also a year filled with loss, my great grandmother and grandmother and my husbands father all passed away that year. But it was still a year filled with joy and many many memories that I treasure.


    • mewhoami says:

      Thank you for sharing your story of 1988. With children and being in the military, it sounds like that was a very busy year for you. I’m sorry to hear about all your losses back then. I can’t imagine losing so many loved ones in such a short period of time. It’s good though, that you can look back at that time and still see so many good memories, even with the hard times.


  2. Great post and I remember to have been there too πŸ˜‰


  3. A.PROMPTreply says:

    Oh, really like this post and I totally agree! There is no going back to the teen years for me! Was lucky to get myself through them once!


  4. I’d love to go back – if I knew then what I know now. Otherwise? Reliving those same mistakes and not being able to change it would make me suicidal.


  5. DailyMusings says:

    Would never want to go back! Not a great time for me either. Too much rebellion, fighting with my mother- was glad to live those years behind


  6. Teenage years???? Heavens NO! Once was more than enough for me. Like you I learned lessons. And I look back and am grateful for what ever it was that gave me the strength to get through. It certainly wasn’t wisdom. Or grace. But something made me keep putting one foot in front of the other. Maybe it was even the running part, quickly, to get OUT of those years. πŸ™‚


  7. I’m with you, great lessons but no desire to relive them!


  8. You are so right. Reminds me of a similar story (that’s mine). I decided to share it with my husband in a special way. Would love to share with you too..


  9. April says:

    That’s a great writing prompt. Teen/early 20’s are tough and I wouldn’t want to go back either. Just as you said, we learn our lessons and move on. My kids have chosen not ignore my advice. πŸ™‚


    • mewhoami says:

      I thought so too. A writing prompt like that could be used just about every day. Imagine the stories people would tell. Funny how kids pick and choose what advice to listen to. I definitely had a case of selective hearing.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Glynis Jolly says:

    You’re about three years older than my stepdaughter. She didn’t seem to need to run away. She did want to spend more time with her mother, so we bought the plane ticket and told her she was welcomed back when/if she wanted to do so. I’m curious — what gave you this feeling of needing to leave home? I know teenagers want to grow up ‘right now if not yesterday’, but was something else gnawing at you?


    • mewhoami says:

      I don’t think it was running away from home necessarily. I loved my home, for the most part. We were very happy and loved. I was just in a constant search for who I was, which unfortunately included running away from everything, both physically and mentally.


  11. suzjones says:

    I wouldn’t be a teen again if I was paid to do it. Unless I had the maturity and knowledge that I do now. lol
    I couldn’t wait to move out of home and lived in a few shared accommodation places until I moved back home again – single and pregnant. The funny thing though is that although as teens the majority of us make bad mistakes, they are hopefully learning and growing experiences for us and shape the person we are today. πŸ™‚


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