I am 29 years old. I am about to graduate from a tertiary education institution for the second time. And I’m still not ready to grow up.
Perhaps you think I’m just another example of Gen Y kids being unwilling to move out of their parents houses and take responsibility for their own lives. Can I assure you that this is not me? I have lived out of home since I was 20 and took on a great deal of responsibility at a very young age.
To me, growing up includes taking responsibility but is fundamentally about something else. When I think of growing up I think of stale, boring jobs. I think of what doesn’t change. And the problem is this: I haven’t done everything I want to do. I still want to be a baker, an astronaut, a train driver, and a pilot. I want to learn how to be a carpenter, how to fix a dripping tap, and how to grow a plant from a cutting. I still want to get a tattoo and dye my hair. I still want to learn French and Italian and Russian. I still want to travel to Morocco and Alaska.
I’m not ready to let go of my dreams, but we are standing at a crossroads. The time for study and excessive holidays is passed. And it feels like the time for stable jobs and families and circles of friends is here. Goodbye freedom and whimsy, hello stability.
Ever since I can remember I’ve always loathed stability. It’s why I don’t go back. I won’t live in the same place twice. I usually won’t holiday in the same place twice – there’s too many places to explore. Even now as I holiday at Diamond Beach, it isn’t the same as previous years. In first year I discovered that I actually liked my friends (if you guys are reading this, thanks for giving me 9 months grace). In second year it was not like first year and that made it sad. And now, it’s all a bit bittersweet and somber because we don’t have three years in front of us, we don’t even have three months.
We stand on the precipice of the future, gazing into the unknown, and I only see fear. I fear becoming stale and boring. I fear that my dreams will pack up and leave me. I fear that my whimsical, daydreaming, crazy holiday planning, creative, flower picking self will be left behind and replaced with a boring adult.
Who will I be? How will I change? How will I force myself to stop running? Only God knows.