May 23, 2024
Maine Turns 12, A Short Essay

Preface

The year was 1832, and at 12 years old, Maine was officially a tween. Ah, those unruly adolescent years, full of awkwardness and growing pains. As you’ll see, Maine had its own share of challenges during its formative years, not all that different from yours or mine. So, grab a cup of coffee and let’s laugh at some of Maine’s awkward family photos from its tween years, kidding, let’s dig into Maine Turns 12.

Maine Turns 12

Maine turns 12 this year and, boy, is it showing. Just like a typical tween, Maine is moody, unpredictable, and obsessed with its newfound sense of independence. It’s like, “Mom and Dad, I’m not a part of Massachusetts anymore. Stop trying to control me! HMPH!”

Now, back in 1832, life was different. Maine was still figuring things out, just like any other awkward 12-year-old. There were no smartphones, no Netflix, and no TikTok dances. “Boring!” thought Maine. On top of that, there were plenty of problems to deal with, like blackflies, harsh winters, and the occasional grumpy moose.

At 12 years old, Maine was starting to realize that it was different from the other states around it. It was a natural beauty, but it sure didn’t feel like one. It wasn’t as established or as powerful as Massachusetts, its now sibling state. It didn’t have the glamour and excitement of New York or the historical significance of Virginia. It was just…Maine.

And for a state that was just starting to figure out its own identity, that was hard. Maine didn’t have the confidence that it does today. It was still trying to find its footing, to figure out what made it special.

As young Maine trudged through the ups and downs of puberty, it was moody, uncertain, and occasionally downright angsty. It complained about being stuck on the outskirts, about not having anything to do, about feeling like it didn’t matter. And while these complaints might seem petty or childish, they were very real to Maine at the time.

Of course, like any good parent, the rest of the country tried to be understanding. They knew that Maine was going through a tough time, and they tried to be patient with it. But there were still times when Maine’s adolescent outbursts were hard to deal with. After all, nobody likes to be around someone who’s constantly complaining and feeling sorry for themselves.

It wasn’t all doom and gloom, though. Maine learned an unbounded appreciation for the arts, a quality it’s never let go of in all its years. Maine didn’t have the sounds of Sirius XM radio or Spotify. It had babbling brooks, whooshing waves, and pitter-pattering raindrops. And the music they made is just as popular today as it was back in Maine’s pubescent prime.

Fortunately, as we all know, Maine eventually grew out of its awkward tween years. It started to embrace its ruggedness. It found its own unique identity and grew into a confident, vibrant state that’s beloved by many. But just like any adult who’s been through adolescence, Maine probably looks back on those years with a mixture of nostalgia, embarrassment, and relief that they’re over.

Despite its challenges, Maine has continued to grow and evolve, carving out a unique place for itself in the world. Today, Maine is known for its stunning natural beauty, thriving arts and cultural scene, and a deep sense of community and pride. These are things that Maine earned through grit and determination during those formative years and beyond.

Maine’s journey through its ‘tween years’ serves as a reminder that finding one’s identity and place in the world is a lifelong process. A keen eye will pick up that strong, confident Maine is still just a little bit of a rebel, just the way Maine likes it. And in the end, it’s the struggles and challenges along the way that make us stronger and more resilient for life.

Credits

Thank you to Wickedly Maine’s first Instagram pal for the dialog that lead to the inspiring writing prompt for this essay.

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