When you get through the 7th grade, it's like you've climbed Mt. Everest, even though you don't really know what Mt. Everest is. You are sure you've done the most difficult thing, and the awkwardness and insecurity and trying to check yourself out in the window reflection, is done for good.
But then you're twenty-six, and a new mom, and the neighbor lady scolds you for not putting socks on your baby's frozen feet and the teenager checking your groceries out at the supermarket gives you the side eye and mentions knowingly that "wearing your baby like that really hurts their hips," and you go home and you cry because it's been awhile, but you feel like that all over again.
And then you are twenty-nine and you've lived in Mexico for 5 years now and all you want to do is transfer your phone contacts but the girl on the other end of the line doesn't understand you, despite your best pronunciation efforts and then she gives a patronizing chuckle, and right then and there you lose it because WHY can't you understand me?! And you feel like that all over again. Thirteen and all unibrow and baggy pants.
Now you are thirty-two, and you've known for awhile this means you're an adult, but you still feel 19 inside, scared and unsure. All of the decisions you are expected to make, where to send your son to school, where to start your brand new life, what to leave behind and what to bring, how to pack up 8 years into tidy little piles tucked into suitcases, fastened snugly with the hope of something even better. You get the rejection emails and phone calls and you try not to take any of it personally; "there's something better for you," and "more opportunities will come along" sounds so nice, but you still feel that much smaller inside, and you try to distract yourself or the fear may become unbearable.
You realize life is just the evolution of 7th grade; it cycles in and out, always in a timely manner, always smacking you against the darn tether ball pole the moment your life gets too comfy cozy. So, you pull up your neon tapered jeans, put on your game face, and keep on keeping on, one awkward day at a time.