It’s 2011. Adele’s “Rollin’ in the Deep” is the top song on the charts right now. LMFAO was on everyone’s radar. Blackberry phones were more popular than iPhones. Every teenager lived on Tumblr and liking pages on Facebook about the relatable things we felt were the norm (as well as poking your friends).
I was a 17-year-old girl in high-school; a junior to be exact. I was studying vocal for my third year, I was looking at colleges to attend to study writing in, and for the most part, I lived a pretty normal and standard life as a 17-year-old girl. Of course, things happened and not everything was always alright, but for the most part I was still living my life as a normal teenager, getting by, learning new things about life, being young.
I was your basic teenage girl. I wore t-shirts and skinny jeans with my Converse, I wore cardigans religiously since uniforms were required in my high-school, and to top it all off I wore a nice decorative scarf to add some personality to those boring uniforms. I experimented with different hair colors and hairstyles, white eye-shadow and eyeliner were my stables in makeup routine, and I used to wear one too many bracelets on my wrist. I wasn’t your typical teenager that was preppy and girly; a lot of the times I felt very boyish to the girls around me or the girls that I thought were prettier than me. Nevertheless, I was in my awkward teenage years as a 17-year-old, which most of us are at that age.
In 2011, I was very busy with my high-school choir. Coming off the success the 2010 choir had, 2011 just deemed us to be even busier than the year before, and busy is what we were. We performed in a numerous amount of events and venues, one of them being at the Statue of Liberty with a bunch of celebrities as well as Carnegie Hall! We did competitions that we both won and lost, and we just enjoyed the trips and the memories made during that time in our lives.
I wasn’t a popular kid, but I was friends with some of the more well-known students at my school. Being known as the best friend of a guy that graduated in 2010, everyone knew who I was, which was something I wasn’t used to. I then became friends with another well known group of people within my grade, and it was just… something I still don’t know how I was able to do. But besides the point although I wasn’t considered popular (someone once thought I was a sophomore when I was in their grade and have known them since freshman year because we had classes together).
But I did get myself in a lot of trouble when I was younger. I was rebellious. I broke the rules and didn’t listen to people and I made some pretty dumb decisions that I thought were smart at the time. I did unintentionally (and intentionally) hurt people out of my own emotions and selfishness, I didn’t know what were my priorities in my life regarding friends and the good people in my life; I was just a teenager that didn’t know any better, which again, most teenagers don’t.
So 10 years later, I look back trying not to have so much regret on the decisions I made. They were decisions that I thought were the right ones in that moment, and I made them. There’s nothing that I, 2021 Liz, can do about it besides let it live in the past and remember that things happened because they were suppose to happen. They taught me lessons. They taught me things that I was meant to learn about life sooner or later. They showed me what bad things can disguise themselves to look like and how good things can go unnoticed and unappreciated until it’s too late. So, I have to thank 2011 Liz for putting her in situations where she need to make tough decisions and just decisions in general that influenced her overall being. It’s those decisions that helps this version, this 26-almost-27-year-old version of myself, understand my worth, challenge the things that scare me or worry me, and know myself better.
What was Liz doing 10 years ago in 2011? Just being a teenage girl getting by.