By Amari D. Pollard
Do you remember when you were 10 and couldn’t wait until you were 15 so you could hang out with your older brother/sister? So you were no longer considered that annoying little sibling?
Birthdays used to be my favorite time of the year. No, not because I couldn’t wait to see what my parents got me on my mile-long wish list [my wish list for my 9th birthday went from my ceiling to halfway across my room. I was a little greedy and ridiculous to say the least] and eat all the ice cream cake my stomach could hold. It was because I was a year older and supposedly a year wiser. I was maturing, growing up, that much closer to becoming an adult. But now, every year I see that number on my ice cream cake increase, I cringe…and I’m only 19.
There’s literally nothing exciting about getting older anymore, except I’ll be legally able to drink in two years, but besides that, there’s nothing new and exciting left for me. I’m just that much closer to death. I know I’m being dramatic and facetious and pessimistic, and I’m fully aware there is a lot of great things out there for me – i.e. landing my dream job, possibly getting married and having kids. But there’s so much more to getting older than just work and marriage and children.
I think what I’m really afraid of is all the responsibility that comes with becoming an adult. I’ve seen the student loan payments coming in the mail for my parents [they didn’t stop until they reached forty], I’ve seen the money spent on groceries to feed a family of four, and I’ve watched them come home exhausted from working nine-hour days. It’s rather laughable to think I ever thought becoming an adult would be fun. It is not alluring in any way possible!
All I really want now is to go back to a time when I could throw rocks at my sister and not get in trouble because “I didn’t know any better.” I want to stuff my face with junk food and not feel it expand in my stomach five seconds later, making me look like a blowfish. I want to be young [I mean younger than I already am] and naïve, and frolic in the fields of my imagination.
It’s remarkable. When I’m in the moment, things seem to be going by so slowly [painfully slow], but as I look back it seems like my life has literally disappeared before my eyes. I can vividly remember moving into St. Mary’s [my dorm room from hell at college] in August and now all of a sudden it’s May…May!
Every time I see a memo about graduation I want to cry [not really, but kind of]. I get this little pain in my stomach, like an advanced level Boy Scout knot made out of anxiety, as if I’m the one graduating, as if it’s me who’s about to be thrown into the chaos of the real world. And even though I’m not graduating, I will be in three years and I bet any senior will attest, that three years goes by way too quickly.
If time goes by so quickly when I’m this age, I can’t imagine what it’ll be like when I’m thirty. I’ll probably blink and it’ll be a new year. But I’m not thirty, there’s still time for me, still time to take in every moment I can. So for now, I think I’ll hold on to 19.
Picture courtesy of http://www.thaotrinh.com