How do you act 23?
I found out today that a young girl I know is pregnant. She’s only just turned 18. I wasn’t particularly shocked or anything, it just struck me as a very hard position to be in at that age. She’s got a decision to make, and it’s going to be difficult for her. Because she goes to college and studies and she’s got plans for her future. How will she manage to decide what is more important? And having just reached 18, how terrified must she be of where her future will go, whatever decision she makes?! She’s finding it a hard call. I only hope the people she needs most are willing to support her through it.
And it got me to thinking, because these things usually do, what would I do if it were me? My immediate, and honest, answer is that I just don’t know. I’ve just started on the road I want to take my life down, so I don’t know if I would be willing to give that up. I guess a lot of these things depend on circumstance. I admire my Mum for what she did at a younger age than me. She chose to keep her baby despite the huge obstacles that put in her path. Which is very fortunate, because that baby was me.
Back at the time she was pregnant, to be unmarried and having a baby was still something of a scandalous affair. And yet she was brave and strong enough to handle it. And she was only 22. I am now a year older than she was then, and yet I feel so much younger. To be honest, most of the time I feel like a kid playing at being grown up.
I’m young, I know that. I think some of the others at college forget that being twenty-something is still technically a young age to be. I remember the twenties being so far away when I was 17. It seemed like I would never be that mature or grown up. And now I’m three years in and I barely feel any different to how I did then. Instead I now look at the next few years ahead of me and think, “Shit…25? Am I really ever going to be in my MID-TWENTIES?” But yes, I will be.
I think probably a lot of it is down to the situation you find yourself in. Because of finances and going back to college etc, I am still living at home with my family. So I do feel less ‘adult’ than I might if I were living on my own somewhere. (Oh to have my own place. *wistful sigh* )
I did feel more like a ‘real adult’ when I was in Ireland actually. That is something that definitely stems from the fact that I was not in a position of ‘student’ in the same way I am at college. I was a member of staff and in a position of authority a lot of the time. So I actually did feel more like a grown up. The working world definitely agreed with me. I can’t wait to be able to get back to that.
And maybe one of these days I will work out how to act my age. Because at the moment I am struggling to comprehend what 23 is supposed to look like.
But I’m pretty sure this isn’t it.