Because sometimes it feels like there aren’t many positives to getting old.
I have a tendency to romanticise my younger years; dreaming of a life free of responsiblity, filled with sunny summer days and S Club 7. However upon reflection, the realities of being 18 and leaving home for the first time were not so peachy. A lot has changed in the six (sob) years since then.
No, I don’t know why we thought seeing how many of us we could fit into my car was so hilarious.
I now do these terribly adult things all by my wonderful self:
– Do my washing without leaving everything stained pink
– Cook delicious meals, some of which are even healthy sometimes. Imagine.
– Remember people’s birthdays. This is because I keep a diary now, partly to pretend I’m busier than I actually am.
– Send Christmas cards.
– Work 9-5, Monday to Friday in an office. Aka I conform to the expectations set by our capitalist corporate society like all great adults do.
– Say things like ‘this will be bad for the economy’ and vaguely know what it means
– I know which political party is currently in power. I am even interested in their various policies and how it impacts on my life. And yes, 18 year old me wasn’t always so sure, nor did she really care.
– I understand what feminism is and my interest in furthering its cause leaves me feeling stronger and empowered everyday.
Yes none of these are startling, but they feel like pretty big victories in my life. I grew up just before the age of the internet hit with full force – I am part of that in between generation who didn’t own a mobile phone in primary school, or have their own laptop till their late teens, but we did experience Bebo and Myspace and we remember the horrors of dial up. Being a teenager in the digital world seems hard and I’m glad I narrowly avoided it. I’m glad I now feel semi equipped to deal with the horrible shit going on in the world. Yes, I’m not really sure what to do. But damn it, I’m going to do something. 18 year old me would probably still be sticking her fingers in her ears and saying ‘la la la.’
What else? I no longer detest sport. Admittedly its still fairly sedentary pursuits such as Pilates and Yoga that I have eased myself into but I am still determinedly looking into finding a cardio team sport that I love. I also run occasionally – I even did 8k this one time. I use the gym regularly! I understand how to work (some of) the machines! I have gotten over my fear of going into the weight room because I think all the burly muscly men are going to laugh at me. They don’t care Rebecca, you are nowhere near as important as you think you are.
I mean to say the least I still frequently fail at the numerous trials and tribulations of adulthood. That diary I mentioned? I’ve had SCHEDULE DENTIST APPOINTMENT YOU IDIOT written in that thing for about 2 months. Yesterday a small child asked me if I knew how to fix his bike; I was mortified that I apparently look old enough to be a responsible adult who would know how to do this. Surprisingly enough, I had no fucking clue. I think the child sensed his mistake very quickly.
Fact is, being an adult is not actually so far from being a teenager or a student. Life is always going to be scary and wonderful in equal measure, with numerous worries and anxieties peppered into the mix and that will probably never change, no matter how old and wrinkly I get.