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fifteen.

I woke up early this morning. The birds were chirping in the tree outside my window and the sun slowly made its ascent up into the sky. I wrapped the blankets tighter around me as I lay in bed, listening to the soft rustle of the wind through the trees and the sounds of my family stirring downstairs.
I like birthdays. A lot. They're my favorite actually -- I love the idea of setting aside the day just to celebrate a person's life, the surprises, the food, doing special things.

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Today is my birthday. I've always been one that gets so incredibly happy over days like these -- when I was younger (and okay, now too), I'd have a countdown from three months away. But as the years have progressed, the excitement has waned a bit too. I suppose it comes with growing up.

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scored this beauty at an estate sale today. so in love.
I struggled with the decision to share my age. As someone who was often mistaken for much younger as a child, I liked the idea of people thinking I was older than I really am. I was afraid that if I shared my age, I'd be looked down upon and my thoughts dismissed. While I realized how ridiculous those thoughts are, there was some part of me that wanted to keep my age a secret. But while this may seem silly to make such a big deal over it, I think it's good for me, to remind myself that I'm still young and it's okay not to take everything upon my shoulders. Sure, it's so easy to get caught up in age and creating an aura of mystery, but it's not always for the better.

Last night, I took a good long look at myself in the mirror. But it wasn't a vain kind of look, it was a deep, soul searching kind of look. I'm not going to lie, I felt a bit melancholy and my heart was rather heavy. This past year was good to me -- I've grown and learned, both mentally and physically and so many exciting things have happened to me. I wasn't sad because I was turning a new age, it was just the knowledge that I'm leaving behind another year of my life, a year I know I'll never get back.
Fifteen is a strange age; it's a limbo between girl and woman, not quite grown up but not a child anymore either. Sometimes it feels strange that I'm still a teenager -- there are times I long to be freed from the shackles of a little thing called school and to live life, fully and completely. And other times I wish I were little again. These feelings run through my mind with each birthday, leaving me excited for the year to come and a bit sad at the same time.

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My name is Carlotta and I'm fifteen today. There's a whole new year stretched in front of me like a blank slate and you better well believe I'm going to live it to the fullest. And now? I'll start small, by eating a piece of oreo ice cream cake and celebrating this new year of life.

Happy Friday, y'all.

-carlotta