Recently I was chilling with the girls. Casual glass of wine, talking about work probs, promotions, weddings and mortgages. About the price of petrol and how exciting it is to finally be getting on with replacing the cladding in the hallway. Then it hit me in the face like a mean kid with a rock. We’re so freaking old. Mate. When the hell did all this happen? One minute my only problems were deciding which member of McFly was the cutest and how much eye liner to put on so I was seen as acceptable by my peers (FYI: in order to survive when I was a teen, you had to choose between Burberry, non-exsistant eyebrows and tooth gems or skinny jeans, ironic Dora the Explorer merch and vans. I went with the latter.) Now, now I exist in this weird space where I seem to have Bridget Jones-ed my way into an episode of Girls and I have no idea what’s going on
It seems when you are a child, you want to live in your own world, but have responsibilities like your parents; I.E paying for your own goo alien, with your own money, that you keep in a tiny handbag made for dolls.
When you become a teen, you want to be treated like an adult without the responsibilities; I.E becoming vegetarian but not wanting to actually cook your own dinner or do your own food shopping.
Yet, when you’re an adult, you wish you were a child again and could rationalise spending ANY money on a goo alien. When I turned eighteen, I did not feel anymore of an adult than I did when I was sixteen. Now I’m a little older, I’m still not sure how to “adult” appropriately, but I do feel slightly more in control of my adult existence. For example, now I can spend extortionate and irresponsible amounts of money on smelly candles, but it’s acceptable because it’s coming out of my pay cheque, not my parents, and I choose what to do with my wages.
That kind of in control.
But it’s not the changes in responsibility that come as a complete shock to the system, no, it’s the social and emotional changes that are the real challenge. We all know the taxes, bills, mortgages, house hunting, job hunting and so on are coming, but we don’t all expect to lose our closest friends, for others expectations to weigh down on us so fast, or our loved ones to grow older and become more reliant on us. It’s the emotional maturity we are meant to posses that really gets me. God, I feel like Mulan trying to climb the pole at the beginning of ‘I’ll Make a Man Out of You’. I cling on so hard, try and figure out the best way to tackle what’s in front of me but I always find myself falling down.
I think this is the hardest thing I have faced in my short life the far.We all grow up at different times. Some relationships we outgrow and some we don’t fully realise. People change and our view of the world changes. Relearning to love your friends, relearning the person you need to be and the purpose you have, realising the person you are becoming and how to make the best of yourself, but also, learning how to move on and away from those who are leaving you behind and how to grieve for relationships lost. It can be lonely, it can be hard and it can hurt to bare the brunt of others growing pains. It may not last forever, the pain or the love, but it is all part of this insane journey.
It is much like a fleet of ships setting sail from the same port. Slowly but surely, you all begin to separate and sail in your own direction, on your own path. Some will stay close, some will drift and come back, some with all always stay at a distance and some will sail away forever. It is a painful process, but it is the one part of growing up so far that has caused the most shock and the most heartache.
I guess it is simply all part of growing up and growing old… well older.