Being so close to Christmas I have been spending time with the people I care about most in the world. This doesn’t just include my family but also my friends, I have some truly incredible friends and some not so incredible, this doesn’t mean I value them any less just that I have less epic stories about them. I keep my friends safe and treasured, even the ones that are family, there are few things I have learnt but one of them is that great happiness can be found in the friendships you make and keep. They have been there before and if you are careful will be there in the future. They are a link to the past and a future as they grow beside you.
On Monday night I had dinner and drinks with 20 or so friends from T.C. (My secondary school) My friends from T.C. are my cherished antiques, some I still gladly talk to and see on a regular basis, some more sporadically and some I am distressed to say not for 5 years. Oddly, regardless of time or inconsistent contact we are all still friends, nothing has changed; we still cause mischief, still laugh too loud and talk excessively. We spent hours in comfortable, splendid company as though we were all still in year 11 where our biggest worry was double biology on a Friday, desperately trying to figure out if we could fall asleep in the class this close to exams. I was reminded of why I loved these friends, why I loved being 16 and how it felt to be that free. These people made me feel old.
These friends make me feel really old and not in a good way, not in a ‘I was a child then and now I am a grown up and an adult’ sort of way. No. I feel old in a ‘16 that was 5 years ago, 5 YEARS,’ sort of way! Where has the time gone? What have I done in those 5 years? What have I achieved? Time is marching on and I feel I am being left behind, I’m not ‘young’ anymore and that makes me feel old.
I feel old without feeling like an adult, I feel my age with responsibility and wisdom and experience behind me (however little it may be) but I still feel like a child. I have friends that are engaged with big proper jobs and down payments on a house. There is this great conflict in me that knows that I am old enough to have friends that are married, engaged, with children but at the same time I don’t understand how I am old enough to have friends married, engaged, with children. I haven’t figured out how to make a relationship work, let alone what love is. A house, noooooooo I want a flat, if that, I want to be able to move out at a moment’s notice to go somewhere else or ,or, or travel. They have proper big graduate job thingys, I still haven’t figured out what I want to do!
Yes, I am thinking about my future, no I’m not happy with it that right now, yes I understand my life seems to have no direction, no I’m not happy about it. But honestly I’m young once, just the once and I want to enjoy it, have fun, laugh a bit more before I resign myself to life, to adulthood. I feel like everyone has figured it all out, I haven’t even figured out what I’m meant to figure out. I just don’t want to be conflicted about feeling old and like a child at the same time. Right now all I know is that I want to watch my friends grow and see the wonderful people I know they will become. And….. I want to grow with them, just let me figure it out on my own terms.
The worst thing is the lack of pressure, everyone is letting me get on with it, and they are all so certain that I have got it figured out. Trust me on this, I am completely clueless.