Tewyner Hall Speech 101 Ms. Walton Introductory Speech Jan. 28, 2013 Interrupted at Eighteen “Where do you see yourself in ten years;” is what my 11th grade teacher asked me. I didn’t have the slightest idea as to where I’d be in ten years; I only knew where I didn’t want to be. Unlike, all of my friends at the time I was the only one out of the group that didn’t want to become an adult; this was something that I was secretly afraid of. My dream of staying with my parents for the rest of my life was abruptly shattered at the age of 18 when I found out that I was pregnant.
I was on the fast track to adulthood, something I had tried so hard to avoid. When my teacher asked me where I saw myself in ten years, I could only think about where I absolutely didn’t want be. I sat at my desk and pictured myself living with my parents pregnant with a “hip baby”. I can remember feeling an immediate chill of disappointment and disguiess at the thought of allowing myself to stoop to such circumstances. As a child my father told me that being pregnant, unwed and living with your parents is one of the most embarrassing and disappointing acts that you could commit towards yourself and your parents.
Society often stereotyped pregnant unwed mothers as easy, gullible girls that couldn’t keep their legs closed. I did not want to be categorized that way I was too smart for that. I wanted to reside within the comfort of my parents’ home childless of course, and continue to do whatever they told me to do for the rest of my life. I knew exactly where I didn’t want to be yet, I was unsure of where I was going. My teenage years were the best years of my life.
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I had a large bedroom with wall to wall plush carpet, a bed fit for a princess, a white vanity set for all of my nail polish, a television and a spectacular view of the front and back of the house. I didn’t have to pay any bills or buy food. I had a part time job, a driver license, a car, I was cute and semi- popular. My parents were proud of me. Life was good. I couldn’t understand why teenagers wanted to grow up so fast. When I was seventeen I told my mother that I didn’t want to turn 18 she laughed and said “The only way you can prevent yourself from turning 18 is if you die at 17”.
I was afraid of not being good enough I didn’t think that I was smart enough to be an adult. Becoming an adult meant that you had to pay for everything, you’d have responsibilities, you’d have to endure the daily pressures of life and eventually realize that it’s a “cold hard world” out there. People are not going to love and care for you like your parents In April of 1999 I went to bed happy, content, and optimistic about my future. When I woke up my fingers and ankles where swollen, my body felt heavy, my stomach was abnormally large and when I turned over there was a hideous monster man in my bed.
I was 8 months pregnant and living at home with the father of my unborn child and my parents. My nightmare had come true. My bedroom was dilapidated; I walked over to the room window and whispered to myself “what a disgrace”. I was scared and ashamed of myself. Although my parents tried to hide it I knew they were heartbroken. My oldest sister would fuel my depression by carelessly blurting belittling remarks to me about my situation. She once asked me “why you keep having babies in my mama house. ” This was exactly where I didn’t want be, But God had a plan for me.
As I said before I didn’t have the slightest idea as to where I would be in ten years; I only knew where I didn’t want be. My children were my inspiration to move forward in life. I realized I couldn’t live with my parents forever. I had to become a positive example for my children. I made a list of short term and long term goals for our future. With the relentless support of my parents I began to embrace not only being a mother but an adult also. That was 13 years ago. In “Straighten Our Hair,” Bell Hooks, she wrote “It has been only in recent years that I could feel consistent pleasure with my hair”.
These feelings remind me of the pleasure and comfort I felt as a child sitting between my mother’s legs feeling the warmth of her body as she combed and braided my hair. ” Just like bell hooks I sometimes reminisce on the times when I was a young girl and the feelings of comfort, love, and satisfaction I received from my room and living with my parents. Today I am 33 years old and I can proudly say that I am not where I want be, but I’m far from where I used to be, God has surly worked on me. Thank you all for listening!
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