Saturday, 10 March 2012

ABC's of me

She's only 18
Don't like the Rolling Stones
She took a short cut
To being fully grown
(She's only 18, Red Hot Chilli Peppers)

Yep, so as you might have guessed, I'm 18.
18 means something different to everyone but here is selection of people's responses and opinions:
Mother: 18 is go grown up, what happened to my little girl?
A1: You were minus two when I was dancing to this!
A2: Too young, it's all about experience.
S: Too old, if your age isn't on the clock, you're not for me.
M: Fucking hell you're a child!
L: Really? I thought you were much older.
T: Damn, I put a bet on you being 23.
J: You're so young, and yet you act like such a mum.

Mixed messaged mostly following 1 of  2 themes. The first, and preferable one, is surprise that I'm this young. The second comes from older students and is about how much I have to come, I haven't experienced, I have to learn. And is often said in a rather patronising way. Followed by a hair ruffle . Always fun.

But to me, 18 is just... now. It's just the number of years I've been alive. But, in a philosophical train of thought, the way society sees 18, what it means to people, I find difficult to attribute to myself. Going by cultural definitions, I would put myself a few years older. I'm not a  media-typical teenager who gets drunk on the streets, wears hoodies and excessive make up or dresses provocatively, smokes, has sex and gets pregnant and does drugs.

I'm Grace (L) not Amy (C) or Adrian (R)
I do none of those things! I own one leavers hoodie, I much prefer getting drunk at home, I believe that the imagination is the best way to tease, once I came to rehearsal wearing makeup and was asked if I had my stage make up on so I could see it against the lighting! I've never touched a cigarette, I'm not an idiot and the idea of drugs I find rather scary. 

I'm plain and boring. I like movie nights and baking, reading Tolstoy, cuddling with the girls, dancing to Indie music and 80s tunes. I'm not a menace to society. Can I just say I'm 40? Please? Ok, 50.

But 18 has been filled with great things. 
Legally being allowed out to clubs and buying my own drinks, even if the downside to that is that I have to pay for them now.  Registering to vote. Coming to uni and EVERYTHING the past few months has entailed. Its been a roller coaster year but it's been so great. Bring on another year. I'm ready for its new experiences, more work and more play. 

Because after all, it's not the destination that matters, its the journey.

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