That Thing That's Inevitable That Everyone Eventually Has To Do

An Essay By Madeline // 10/18/2013

Disclaimer: So Kassady did this. And then Erin did. So of course I had to even though I kind of did before. Heck, why don't we all? Let's make this a thing, people! (psst, Maddi, you're next!)

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I think everyone's growing up is different.

I always say to my friend, "It's nice to be going through the same things as you at the same time." Really, we all are: us fifteen, sixteen, seventeen-year-olds. We have our bouts of irritability, anxiousness, longing, the firsts tastes of adulthood. We're experiencing a lot of the same, but no two of us are going to have the same experience.

It really comes down to the person and how they choose to deal with this newfangled growing up. I'm someone who's not too worried, not too excited (but excited--don't get me wrong), and not too blase. I wonder if part of the reason is because it hasn't quite hit home yet. I mean, I'll be eighteen in two years. Then again, I'll have more time than post people--I won't be starting college until I'm nineteen, because of when my birthday falls. Nineteen sounds eons older than eighteen.

The thing is, I have absolutely no idea what I want to do. But I'm not worried about it. I can't say whether I'm in denial or just don't care; I honestly think it's the latter. I have so many choices, and it's freeing. I can be whatever. I can even choose to not go to college, if I don't want to.

Right now I'm at a time in my life when friends seem really, really important. They always were, but now more than ever. The ages we're all getting to--they're exciting. They mean all those grown-up things I dreamed about when I was twelve. Driving. Jobs. Maybe even boyfriends. This is the time when we begin to create miniature versions of our lives to come.

I do know one concrete thing about my future, and it's that I can't do the "normal" thing. I can't bring myself to go to college and get a job and then get married and have kids. It's not for me. I've known it for a while now, and I'm still figuring out what exactly this "not-normal" path will entail. Perhaps songwriting. Maybe singing. Or something entirely different, although it's hard to imagine.

All of it--it's all hard to imagine. I sometimes still feel twelve, having sleepovers with my brand new best friend and playing dress-up. Babysitting her younger siblings. Getting my OWN CAMERA for my thirteenth birthday. Writing stories and being excited when I got comments.

If you asked twelve-year-old me what she was going to be when she was older, she would have said: "I'm going to graduate early and go to a good college and get my veterinary degree and eventually open up my own practice." (Although I'm sure it was more along the lines of: "I'm going to graduate early and be a vet and open my own shop!")

If you asked fourteen-year-old me what she was going to be when she was older, she would have said: "I'm going to graduate early and maybe get a liberal arts degree and become a famous author."

If you asked fifteen-year-old me what she was going to be she would have said, "I don't know. I might start college classes early and I found the degree I want, at least: a bachelor's in technical and professional writing with an undercurrent in creative writing. I'm going to do it all online in a couple of years and then start my life."

Now. If you asked me what I'm going to be, I'd say I have no idea. I'd say there's no way I'm graduating early--being in college sounds awful right about now. I'd say my real love is singing and songwriting, but who knows what kind of chance I'd have in that? I'd say I'm not sure what college I'm going to, or if I'll go on campus or online or move away, although that sounds so strange.

I'd look at you like, "Well, it's interesting you asked. But I don't have a clue!"

Fifteen-year-old girl me look at you like, "Oh. Well, it's kind of boring but here you go."

Fourteen-year-old me would look at you like, "I'm going to achieve all my dreams and do exactly what I want and be successful!"

Twelve year old me would sound like she had it all figured out.

Funny how that works, isn't it? It just goes to show that you really do evolve as you grow. You become entirely different people, until finally something clicks and you just are.

I don't think I'm there yet, although being this new, wonderful age has given me a stronger zest for life. And this quote that I read recently in a book about John Lennon--it really resonated with me. I felt like the universe was speaking to me, in a way: "He certainly wasn't going to get a job--that's what you did in the 1950s, you left school and got a job. But there was no way he was going to get one, so what the hell was he going to do?"

Right now, that last sentence--it's me, but without the urgency. I have choices. I really am able to do anything. On my own time. So I think I'll just go ahead and spend this year looking forward to sleepovers and Christmas and driving and new clothes and seeing family instead of college and jobs and my overall future. It can wait a little longer.

And anyway, I can't be sure at this age. Seventeen-year-old me might have something completely different to say. Eighteen-year-old me could, too. Thirty-year-old me could.

You just never know. And that's the beauty of it. Of growing up.

Comments

:P

I FEEL THE PRESSURE. Haha, not really! I am writing one this very minute. :) Personally, I'd like to hear Megan's perspective on this too. Megan, are you reading this? You write good essays! Write one! I'd also like to hear a male's view on it. Is this just us females? I think not. Come on, guys!

Alright, so I actually really loved the title of this. And the go with the choices! Yes, we have so many choices. I actually don't like that there is so many choices, probably because I'm a very indecisve person. (should I have a plate or bowl, plate or bowl? Mum, I can't choose!) I'd really love to have a different job on each day of the week. How cool?!! Anyway...I'll cover that in my essay.

Good input! I liked how you had the different "me's." Good job!

Maddi | Sat, 10/19/2013

Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh

Fascinating essay!

Thanks Homey for writing another perspective... it helps get things into perspective in my own life :)
I totally agree with you about the different stages and ages. I was so totally certain so long ago. But it's interesting to hear your version and sort of relive those blissful twelve year old days in my head :D That was awesome, truly.
YES MADDI! YES! So MANY CHOICES!!! It's really hard to narrow down... Honestly I think I've narrowed it down a bit to what I actually enjoy.
That's another thing I think is important which my mom has talked to me about. It really doesn't matter WHAT you major in, what your degree is. Businesses and such don't really look at that, they look at the dedication that you have with sticking through college, which really is the most important thing. So honestly, you could get a degree in ANYTHING you want, and do the complete opposite when your done with college. Do something you enjoy, something you know you could never get tired of, that you could sit and learn about for four years! Or actually, it's two years isn't it? Because the first two years of college is just making sure you've mastered all the basics (Math, Science, History etc. You know all the stuff you took all that time learning about in High School, Middle School, and Elementary).
I agree Homey, everyone experiences things differently, and I am so glad you shared. It makes me feel like I'm not alone in this! I have friends to lean on and vent with :P Just remember to slap me if I get too caught up in the "Oh poor me, everyone is against me" stuff :D
THANK YOU for writing this! Loved it.
Good luck! Oh, and can't wait to see you!

Kassady | Sun, 10/20/2013

"Here's looking at you, Kid"
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Write On!

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