Saturday, 28 November 2015

Coming of age: it really is all happening.


So I am 18 now which I guess, to me, that means something new. In the eyes of the law I am an adult. But I can't rent a car.

I suppose it brings home this idea of this stage of my life being a time of moving on, of discovering, exploring - myself and the world - and of setting my two feet on the ground and officially saying "I am here, World, look at me!"

I like birthdays. They make you feel different: you have moved up a level in age and a whole new range of things becomes open to you. 15 was different to 16, 16 was different to 17 and 17 will be different to 18, so on and so on.  It is not just because of the new list of legal activities I can partake in, which is fun by the way, but because of my changing each year into the person I am now. On the night before my birthday this week I read the diary entry I wrote from exactly a year before. I had hoped for a wonderful year to follow. "To top the last". I am not sure if it ever actually did top the one before but events and sensations and experiences occurred that have shaped me to be ever so slightly dissimilar to the Mollie on the night before her 17th birthday. That's what is so exciting about birthdays; a year of things you won't ever be able to pre-imagine.

The most exciting feeling about being 18 is the wider sense of looking towards the rest of my life. I have technically left my official childhood behind and entered my adult life, I have 'come of age'. And things happen there, I've been told, lots of things. In my diary entry this Tuesday night (right before my birthday) I wrote a slightly different message to myself. Instead of thinking about the year ahead of me, which should be stressful and wonderful and exciting, I wrote what I hoped to encounter in the rest of my life. I wrote about the love I will feel, the people I will meet, the places I will go. But I also wrote about the pain I will experience, the losses, the low points. Because it is all coming to me. Each moment I do not know yet, they are all there lined up on a shelf for me to come along and pick one by one in no particular order each one to live through. Or is that the wrong analogy? Perhaps more accurately they may be thrown at me from a great height when least expected. Sometimes painful, sometimes pleasant. I look forward to both kinds.

I don't know if I will spend the rest of my life writing, who I will work for, if I will be creating something. I don't know who I will spend the rest of my life with, if I will ever meet someone like that, if I even want to. I don't even really know what university I will end up next year. Or what grades I will get, or where I will be in the summer. What will I read? Learn? Who am I going to meet? I just don't know anything at all, but it is all happening.

Oh I really love being 18, it really is all happening.

I can't wait for it all. The laughter, the friends, the tears, the kisses, the shouting, the anger, the everything. I am ready and waiting, it is all happening now! I want to live it all.