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Saturday, 13 August 2016

The Adulthood Welcome Party


I turned twenty-one this year, and the expectation was far greater than the reality. In my mind I envisioned reaching this age naturally condoned some form of great acknowledgement (especially when you take into consideration my tendencies to injure oneself). I imagined that it warranted an exclusive pass into a new world, where adventure was predominantly situated on the menu alongside a dose of certainty and glamour. Where every hour was happy hour and the guests of honour were privileged opportunities. A cold beverage, preferably sparkling, would be supplied for a toast to your younger years, where you could laugh comically in relief that it was now all but a distant memory that was vital in order to project you into this world of adult status.

Undoubtably, you can pre-empt that this was vastly miscalculated. For many of you reading this will already have been deflated by the sharp, unforgiving object that is life. Unlike learning to ride a bike, this is not a practice run, you cannot cry to your Father requesting that he screw the stabilisers back on after you have fallen off and grazed your knees, embarrassed and unforgiving of the cruel nature that is learning. There is no dress rehearsal, if you fall off stage you are expected to spring back up and remain in character, for corpsing in front of an audience is frowned upon. But why? You don't automatically loose all your dependencies and insecurities when the clock strikes midnight on the eve of your birthday. I wish they would, but they simply don't.

So why it is, that you have managed to figure this out for yourself and yet the rest of the world cannot comprehend that there is no seamless transfer? Even those who have been firmly rooted within adulthood for a significant period seem to be niave to your struggle. Are you going to university? No, oh, well what do you plan to do instead? You don't know..? My dear, this is the big world now, you realise? 
If that is so, why do you still treat me with a patronising demeanour? Oh, how I have longed to bite back with a response of this tone, but have patiently refrained. There is no benefit to a retort of this manner, for it further weakens your composure. A composure which has already been pelted with damaging blows when life callously ripped away your safety blanket.

It would appear that there is no mechanical switch within us that flicks 'off' to the array of immature emotions and restless desires that accompany you throughout youth. The sort of immaturity that tells you to drink alcohol mindlessly, urges you to kiss boys who's name you can't even recall and sees you flit from one thing to the next, no particular sedimentary ties to anything in particular, as you search desperately for something that can set your soul alight. But wait, wasn't adulthood meant to present miraculous opportunities to you on a silver platter with an acknowledgement note that reads: Congrats for surviving your hideous teenage years, you rose to the challenge and it certainly wasn't pretty, so heres something on us - Kind Regards, Your Dignity. No? Okay then.

Just like that I accept that the hard work has actually only just begun. Those teenage years of embarrassing antics that you believed would all be a farcical joke one day, now appear a reoccurring element and the sort of stories you could recount over a glass of wine at a sophisticated dinner party and then accredit to your development stages, will now most likely have happened one week prior rather than ten years ago.

There is no welcome party to any stage of your years, or none that I am yet to stumble upon aged twenty-one, but if anyone does know of the location of an elicit welcome-to-adulthood party, I would be grateful for the details. But in the mean time, I shall entertain myself in the limbo stages where I shall maintain what is left of my dignity after the whirlwind of teenage mistakes and practice my grown-up voice and hand gestures.


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