Archive | October, 2011

Adulthood begins at Twenty?

4 Oct

Big things are about to happen in my life and I’m talking B.I.G.

Firstly I am approaching the age I shall now call ‘Twenteen’ as an ode to my childhood that seems to have been taken away from me before I was ready to let it go. I know a birthday doesn’t mean that you should necessarily grow up, but taking away the ‘teen’ that I’ve been used to for the past seven years seems a little bit like a physical shove into adulthood. The process from child to adult just feels like it should be a conscious, if gradual, decision.

The fact that I still live in my parental home probably doesn’t help this aging business but all that is about to change…for I am MOVING OUT (and into university accomodation).

Okay so…it’s sort of a cop-out as moving out goes, but it’s honestly going to be the most challenging part of my life so far; negotiating washing without shrinking the majority of my clothes, living off strict rations imposed by student-poverty, having to actually live an independent life without the cushion of parents or friends I’ve known for a decade to back me up (‘She’s not insane, I swear!’).

So it’s made me think, perhaps I’ve morphed into adulthood without realising? Despite the fact that I will remain a perpetual midget and young-looking for the forseeable future, perhaps from an outward appearance I do seem more adult than I feel inside. Surely I have to have done by the age of 20?

‘What do I judge to be an adult?’ I thought to myself and I realised it was in several detailed yet very important actions, things that you naturally progress to at one point or another in life that are indications for everyone else that you have, in actual fact, aged.

1) Firstly owning (and using) a book of stamps, ready to whip out when required. Think about it logically, it’s an outward sign that you have stopped relying on others and have purchased (or been given, and in which case is this point is void) your own stamps.

2) Choosing what you wear/eat/do ALL of the time without starving, looking ridiculous and spending all your time and money at fairgrounds/playing video games. This only works if it is entirely your call on all of these matters and thus you are independent which almost always automatically will introduce you to adulthood.

3) Moving Out, particularly into your own place, should theoretically be the ultimate sign of adulthood but with University accommodation, boarding schools, living with several friends in a dirt-ridden-pit-of-doom being alternatives to the house of Mum and Dad, it doesn’t quite win the title. Extra kudos to those living alone – congratulations you are officially enrolled into the ranks of adulthood.

4) Taking a Flight on YOUR OWN, has to be the ultimate sign of independence and maturity. You can deal with the awkward sitting around alone in departures, being touched up by security without that look to your companion(s) which makes it all better, sitting on a plane for hours either a) making conversation with strangers or b) ignoring the humans you have been placed into contact with. Ergo, independent adult. If you have an underage tag on your person or if someone has to hold your hand through this and check that you’re not going to run around/get lost on the plane then this point, too, is void.

5) Having TOTAL responsibility for another HUMAN is probably the least fun, the one you definitely can’t escape and revert back to the childhood stage (unless, of course, the human is borrowed, on some sort of time-share or kidnapped). It’s one of those signs that normally happens upon you and forces your way into adulthood, the ‘choice’ of becoming an adult has been made for you and if you don’t comply then you are an awful, awful person.

I’m still working on them, not quite sure I have conquered the role of ‘adult’ even if it is soon to be assumed upon me. Perhaps just living this change will help me mutate into the adult I will become. Perhaps in many ways I’m very nearly there, living on the cusp of adulthood without realising…but anyway, I have to go, Sesame Street is about to start.

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