Through the Eyes of a Child

Sometimes I miss being a child. Back when things were mostly easy; when the scary things could be fixed by simply hiding under the covers, and when my biggest worry was that the boy I had a crush on might think I was weird. I miss those easy days, when life didn’t seem to weight so heavily on me.

I’ve been going through a weird time lately. My head is all over the place; I’m questioning things I thought were solid, I’m doubting myself more than ever, I’m struggling with the fact that my life is going nowhere and the crushing inevitability of remaining stuck in a place I want desperately to be free of. I hate my job. I miss my brother. I can’t write. And the bitter cherry atop it all is a deep loneliness that I’ve only just come to recognise.

It’s hard, being in such a dark place with no sign of the light. In my mind I know that the light is there somewhere, and that eventually I will climb back to to it again. But right now, I feel like I’m being dragged deeper and deeper into the murky depths of my own unhappiness, and from where I stand, there appears nothing ahead of me but more of the same.

Life was simpler when I was a kid. It’s funny, I used to be so excited to be an adult. But now that I’m here, the world doesn’t seem as great as it looked through the eyes of a child.

I Hate my Job and the Universe is a Jerk

I hate my job. I work in a kiosk in a busy shopping centre, where it is always loud, busy, full on and stressful. I can’t make a cup of tea – or ten. I can’t relax. I deal with misogynistic jerks on a weekly basis. I feel incompetent most of the time. And most of all, I have no passion for it. And that, I think, is the thing I hate the most.

For the past couple of months, I have been applying for jobs in my home town. Anything, everything that came up that was part time or full time, because a casual job just isn’t enough to pay my rent and my car loan; the two biggest and most important financial responsibilities in my life currently. I got rejection letters aplenty, and otherwise, silence. So I started applying for jobs in the city.

I have been borrowing my friend’s internet any time I can to apply for any jobs I found that fit the criteria I was looking for. All I got was more of the same. I was getting desperate. And then yesterday, I got a phone call from a place I had applied for last week. A menswear shop in the city, full time on a five month contract. I have an interview next Tuesday.

And then today, after my workmate quit, my boss came to me and handed me a letter of offer. I’ve been working casual for over a year, and he offered me a full time position. So now I have this dilemma. Do I hold off until the interview, or do I say yes now? Well of course, I’m going to take the job. Because despite how much it makes me miserable, it’s the best offer on the table. Full time, in my current town, in a job I mostly know how to do. The universe has a way of forcing you in the direction it wants you to go. My decision was already made before I had a chance to make it.

So props to you, Universe, you sneaky sonofabitch. I guess one of us here has to be the adult, and since I’m no good at playing that part, I suppose it’s good to have someone in my corner. Even if that means staying at a job that causes me undue stress for financial stability and some modicum of security. *sigh*

Amy and The 40c Gas Bill

I’ve always made a bit of a joke about not cooking. My dad and my brother, and my best friends all make that same joke. But it wasn’t until I received a gas bill for 40c that I realised exactly how slack I am in the kitchen.

image

It’s not that I can’t cook. I can. I just prefer not to. This is partly to do with the fact that, despite my creativity with a pen or a sewing machine, I am completely lacking in the ability to decide on something to cook. The other part of the reason is that I am, to my detriment, ridiculously lazy. I know, it’s a terrible trait. But I get home, after spending my entire day in a noisy shopping centre, surrounded by screaming children and dealing with jerk customers, and the last thing I want to do is stress myself out in the kitchen.

My best friend loves to cook. He often tells me how he finds it calming. I’m the exact opposite. The minute I set foot in my kitchen, I get overwhelmed and stressed out and then nothing goes the way I planned. And, without word of a lie, I’ve cooked a whole bunch of times in the new house and not once have I managed to do so without setting off the smoke alarm. I guarantee my neighbours are always fully aware of every time I cook.

Still, my unwillingness to cook, and lack of any great ability in the kitchen does have a few merits. Firstly, I go around to my dad’s house most nights a week for dinner and that means I still get to chill and watch movies with him. Secondly, don’t make a lot of dishes! And then there’s that 40c gas bill. (honestly, how the hell does one get a gas bill that small?!)

I would make a terrible housewife. Sure, I can clean like a boss and I bake pretty well but when it comes to cooking? Sorry, future partner (pffft!), but you’re shit out of luck!

Pretending to be an Adult; Refrigerator Edition

I’m doing a pretty good job of pretending I’m an adult. I have recently gotten a second job, I own (and paid for) my car, I live on my own, I pay all my bills, do my own washing and…sometimes cook my own dinner. At a glance, anyone would think I am a fully functioning member of society. And then they look in my fridge. And all the illusions are shattered.

1363334922_refrigerator-empty-milk-carton
My house is small, and my fridge is small to accommodate. But when you open it, it looks rather like a vast, cavernous space, large enough to comfortably fit a family of ten. The contents of my refrigerator are pretty dismal, really. Two eggs, a half carton of milk, half a packet of crumpets and a third of a tub of butter. An unopened bottle of mineral water, a small container of peach slices, a jar of olives and various vegetables going slowly bad in the crisper. My freezer just holds large quantities of bread, because I keep buying more and forgetting I have plenty, which is a bit ridiculous for someone who doesn’t actually eat bread all that much.

I once laughed at my brother for having a similar fridge situation, despite living out of home for two years. Well, brother, the joke is on me now. Nearly two months on my own and I still haven’t learnt to properly stock a pantry or a refrigerator. In my defence, my pantry is less an actual pantry, and more just a little set of wicker shelves shoved against the wall, so there’s really not a lot of storage room. But even still, I often forget about the so called ‘essentials’ in favour of things that are yummy and on sale. I mean, I have a constant supply of chocolate in my house, and yet only last week did I think to buy salt and pepper. That’s bad enough, but I really I have no excuse where the fridge is concerned. I mean, I often tell people how independent I am, and yet more and more I think I still need some adult supervision. It’s time to confess; despite appearances, I actually have no idea what I’m doing.

I envy those people who do their shopping and come home to fully stock their pantries and fridges. The people who don’t have to spend an entire day trying to decide on something for dinner, only to get lazy and settle for packet pasta and juice drunk straight from the bottle. If there’s any out there who are successfully navigating adulthood – and know how to stock a fridge – please feel free to throw some tips at me. Or, y’know, even some suggestions for dinner!

Moving On, Moving Out

I have decided to be an adult. Not permanently, I’m not a crazy person. But for long enough to do the big girl thing and move out on my own. I am 22 years old and I live with my dad in the same house I have lived in for twenty years. Twenty. Years. I feel that people only talk about time in terms of decades when they’re, y’know…old. And yet here I am, young and very definitely not adultlike, discussing my time spent living under a parent’s roof in that very same manner. And I’ve decided that it’s time to change. I want to be able to talk about my living arrangements in terms of months, goddamnit.

I’m the second oldest of four kids, and the last still living at home. My older sister moved away years ago, and now has two kids and a wedding date set for next year. My second youngest brother moved out a couple of years ago with friends and is a qualified boilermaker. My youngest brother still lives with mum admittedly, and after much procrastination and laziness, now has a steady job and a beard. And then there’s me. I work four days a week, try and fail to keep up with my creative pursuits on the other three days, and have never lived alone.

My dad was away a couple of days last week, and I enjoyed having the house to myself. A lot. And so I got to thinking about doing that all the time and thus, the decision to move out was made. I put a fridge on layby. I arranged with a friend to temporarily borrow his couch. I started looking at houses. I’ve been imagining how I would set it up. I even had dreams about it! Now all I need is a bit more cash behind me and an approved rental application, and you’ll be looking at a proper renter.

I think what I’m looking forward to is the space. I want to set up my sewing somewhere where I can leave it. A place to sew at 11:30 at night, without having to worry I’ll wake someone. I’m looking forward to cooking what I want. Watching what I want. Playing my own kind of music without annoying someone. I’m looking forward to walking around naked.

A few people have been pretty negative about it. I understand that it’s not going to be all fun and bubbles. I know it’s going to be more expensive. I know that there are going to be times when I wish I was still living at home. But I also know that now is exactly the right time. It feels right to me, and I’m always one for following my instincts.

So here’s to doing my own thing, to being (temporarily) an adult. Here’s to walking around naked!

image
Aw yeah.

How NOT to be an Adult

image

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.

image

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.

image