Growing Up: What to do with your life

Living life properlyI feel like a grown up.

For my whole life, people have told me I seem older than what I am. I was sensible, mature, and responsible.

When I turned 18, I felt like I was stuck in a time warp. I stayed 18 for a long time.

Now I feel like I’m 25 – a quarter of a century. Going from 18 to 25 is a little strange.

It is about suddenly being the one with experience, the one who travelled, the one with stories to tell, the one who knows how to untangle the thread of bureaucracy, who knows how to navigate the treacherous waters of life. The one who, when someone knocks a glass of coke over, goes and grabs the tissue.

I am, suddenly, a first aider, a forklift truck driver and a businessman. I fill in tax forms every year, well ahead of the deadline. I cook my own meals, wash my own clothes, and choose my own books. I plant herbs and vegetables. I’m practical. I’m unflappable.

Today, our 18 year old new employee, turned to me and asked, in a wistful kind of way – “Do you know what it is you want to do with your life?”

And all the answers I once had – to be a writer, a director, create a commune, be a journalist, travel the world – they were all cop-outs. Not because they are failed dreams, but because we are so many things in the course of a lifetime – that I value my role as a friend, a lover, a daughter. That I can be a web-designer, a council officer, a writer, a blogger and none of it is ‘what I’m doing with my life’.

All I’m doing with my life is living it.

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