Next week marks a landmark in my life; my 22nd birthday. While 22 is not as important a milestone as an 18th or 21st, to me it marks an age of maturity and responsibility; the age where you can no longer pretend to be a child.
How I perceive age is that at 18 you are an adult in the eyes of the law, however are still treated as a child in regards to still being an adolescent. At 21 we begin to settle down. Some into long lasting relationships while other into commitments of other sorts such as car loans and mortgages. By this age we are beginning to finish up our tertiary studies and begin a professional career.
This to me is terrifying. For the next week at least I am a 21 year old woman with zero savings and the ambition to write. I don’t have the perception of a ‘career’ as per say, as more of a yearning to follow my words where they shall lead me. I know that I want to build my life on the foundations of veganism, goodness and writing and inside my mind I feel I shall always be proud of my achievements, however I don’t feel this will translate into a worldview worth to the people around me or those who try to judge my worth on a monetary scale.
And this is why I am afraid of 22. While it is the Great Unknown where I may create my own truths, how society will perceive me terrifies me. I do not feel I have ticked off enough of society’s checklist that is created for people becoming young adults. While I have never lived out of home, saved a significant amount of money or travelled abroad, I have however done exactly what I love to do. I have conquered illness, became my own inspiration, pushed my limits and let other lean on me.
I hope that when my day of ‘maturity’ comes next week that I may forget about stereotypes and remember that while I haven’t done everything on my list, I have still done a hell of a lot. The future is unwritten and I shall write it at my own pace.