Turning 18

ImageSo two days ago was my eighteenth birthday, and just like that I crossed over the threshold of childhood to adulthood. And now, two days into my life as an adult I still don’t know how and when time passed. As a child like most of my peers, the only thing I wanted was to grow up – to be an adult, independent to take my own decisions. There were so many things I dreamed of doing ten years ago at this time – cook like my mother, use a knife to cut vegetables, learn to light a match, go to the shops on my own, go to college, stay up late – small dreams of the forbidden. Now that I finally am an adult why doesn’t it feel so? I haven’t yet had any over-night epiphanies nor have I realized the deep philosophy of Life. I don’t feel grown-up and not at all matured or wise, yet I am supposed to be so, am I not ?

There were no fanfares and trumpets to welcome me into the world of grown-ups. Nothing around me seems any different than two days ago, except small things here and there. No longer do I have to climb a chair to reach the top rack in the kitchen. In that one moment when I look around myself from the eyes of an eight-year old me, I feel like Alice felt when she ate the cake that made her taller. I remember looking up at my teachers, my parents, now I stand shoulder to shoulder with them, and yet I am not half as wise as they are. The old picture books in my bookshelf have been replaced by huge, drab volumes that contain hardly any pictures. My old soft toys and worn out barbies are arranged neatly on shelves, no longer gateways of my imagination. Nowadays, sometimes it is almost unthinkable to me that once upon a time I considered these plastic figures with glassy buttons for eyes to be my playmates, my friends, that I kissed them goodnight, and wished them good morning. The eccentricities of a child!

When I look at old photos I get a brief glimpse of how much things have changed. My parents’ faces have become more lined, parts of their hair have become grey. I don’t fit in my mother’s lap anymore, and it often seems fantastical that I ever did. My father doesn’t lift me up in the air now, and the one-sided acquiescence both reluctant and otherwise I was used to as a child, has now transformed into lengthy debates and discussions between me and my parents. My country now deems me responsible and mature enough to decide to a certain extent its future, to elect a leader worthy enough of leading my country, but politics is still as confusing to me as trigonometry was only a few years back.

Of course there are certain things to look forward to, but adult life comes with such huge responsibilities that I am not sure I can handle, and sometimes all I want is to run back down the time line to my carefree past. I feel like I am standing upon a cliff, where behind me lies my past and all that I have experienced, while in front of me lies the murky depths of an unknown future. And I don’t know whether what I am feeling is apprehension or anticipation.