In a couple of days, I will be celebrating my 22nd birthday. Despite all evidence proving this fact, I am constantly telling people that my real age is at least ten years younger than that (when I’m not insisting that I’m an old lady, that is.) In fact, one of my most commonly used tags on Instagram is #secretlystilltwelve. The thing is, half the time I don’t think I really qualify for adulthood. With the way I act and the priorities I have and the fact that I still laugh at ‘that’s what she said’ jokes, I pretty much feel like I should be a teenager. Personally, I think they should make you pass an adulthood test before they let you count as one.
You officially become a recognised adult when you turn eighteen. That milestone birthday entitles you to do all the things you couldn’t legally do prior to that day. You can drink, drive (hopefully not at the same time), get married, have all the sex…all that kind of stuff. My 18th birthday made absolutely no difference to my boring existence. At eighteen, I wasn’t a big drinker, I had no intention of driving, I was single, too young for marriage and I was about a year away from having my first sexual encounter. So becoming an adult wasn’t a huge change for me. These days, things are a little different but my feelings about adulthood remain essentially the same. Which is to say that I’ve thus far managed to almost entirely deny the fact that I’m a grown up.
The first step to successfully denying your adulthood is being a master in the art of procrastination. Responsible adults get things done, right? Kids, (and other non-adults like myself) on the other hand, know how to avoid doing what needs to be done. Whether it be not doing the dishes until the next day, not getting out of bed until the last possible moment before lateness becomes inevitable, or waiting nearly four years to get your licence (raises hand), there’s nothing like procrastination to prove to the world that adulthood might not be the right path for you.
Now, on that topic of getting one’s licence, I held off getting mine for a few reasons. First, I live in town so walking was never an issue. Secondly, after you turn 21, you can get your licence without a log book AND you go straight to green P’s. I am inherently lazy, which is partly why I am so good at procrastinating. But, all laziness aside, I eventually did get my licence (after failing twice) and subsequently bought a car. Now, that seems like an adult thing to do, right? I saved my money and I bought a car all on my own. Here’s where I fail, however. After owning my car for less than a week, yesterday I locked my keys in it. I made sure I turned my lights off, unplugged my iPod and locked the door, and yet somehow managed to leave the keys in the ignition. Car, 1. Amy, 0. Not as bad as the time I accidentally threw my dad’s keys in the salvos bin (yeah, that happened), but still a definite sign that I suck at being an adult.
Now, I’m at a age where everyone is getting married and having kids. It seems every couple of weeks, girls I went to school with are posting photos of their engagement rings or budding baby bellies. Every time I see it I think, ‘but we’re so young!’. I feel like marriage and kids is something exclusive to the over 30’s. But really, it’s not that unusual at all to do those things at my age. I have two friends that I hung around with in high school that were married at eighteen. One of those friends is now getting a divorce and the other is having a baby due in December. And all I can think is, ‘I’m not mature enough for that shit.’ Despite the fact that I’m never having children and I don’t believe that I’ll ever get married regardless of my age, I feel like we’re all still too young to even be thinking of doing those things. But I guess everyone else my age is just more mature than me.
Which brings me to my next point. While everyone I know is moving out, shacking up with their long term partners, and starting their careers and their families, I’m still single and living at home. Plus, I’m working as a housekeeper, which is far removed from my dream of being an author or cute boutique shop owner. I pay board but other than that, I’m essentially responsibility free. Not that I’m irresponsible, but I don’t really have all the stresses that, in my mind at least, go hand in hand with being grown up. I would very much like to live out of home but the reality is that I just can’t afford it on my part time wage. Especially now that I have to worry about petrol and car maintenance! (not a sentence I’m used to saying). And while my friends are in their happy, sunny relationships, I’m over here in the darkest corner of the singles club, sipping whiskey and avoiding commitment. Adults can commit to long term relationships. I’ve never lasted in one for more than three months.
The truth is, I feel too young to be an adult. Either I’m emotionally stunted or adulthood is just not for me. I mean sure, I like the freedom to make my own choices and the lack of anyone trying to dictate my life. And there is that smug sense of satisfaction in knowing that I’m old enough to have avoided the epidemic of those horrible 25 year old 13 year olds – the kids who think listening to Bring Me The Horizon, smoking a pack a day and posting half nude selfies online makes them grown up. But some days I just want to get up at 12, eat chocolate for breakfast and watch movies all day instead of getting up and going to work. Basically, I’m just a big kid and while I may get older, I am happy to never grow up. Just call me Peta Pan.