but we are all still just kids
I remember when I was in grade 5, that I used to look at the kids who were in the year level above me and think “gosh, they’re so grown up, they do long division.” or being in grade 6 and looking at the senior school kids thinking, “wow, they can do maths with triangles” (actual thought process, Pythagoras’ theorem was not a known concept to me at that point) and yet again looking at school-leavers aged 18–20 at 15 or 16 and thinking, “they have their shit together. I want to be like them.”
Now I am at that stage, the stage of life that I had obsessively day-dreamed about for hours, days, weeks on end — and I’m stuck. I’m here; I’m here in London. I go shopping on Oxford Street and eat bagels on Brick Lane. I’m living the dream, living the life that I wanted to live.
I had dreamed about turning 20, about living the life of the adult — that massively obscured future we all seem to want until it’s too late. And now that I’m here, I want to go back to being 16; to no responsibility, to eating cereal after school and figuring which Netflix episode to watch rather than what job to apply for and which household task to complete first.
I used to look at people my age and think, wow they’ve got it all. They’ve got what I want — independence, freedom and complete autonomy. But the joke is that freedom and independence come at a cost, a very literal cost. It cost money to rent your tiny studio apartment room and it cost too MUCH money to fill your fridge week after week so that you can make whatever dreadfully cheap meal you’ll make for the 3rd time that week. The cost is the hours that you have to work, selling your soul to the big corporations in order to sleep under a roof that night. Time. Money.
The reality is that freedom has a cost and us big 20 year old’s are just big kids who most definitely don’t have our shit together. Life is like a huge industrial helmet that most definitely doesn’t fit like we expected it to.
We just drink our adult juice boxes (wine), cry for the same reasons a toddler might and then get up for work and get on with life. Because you’re an adult. And it’s what you have to do.