Ready Or Not

By Amari D. Pollard

Let’s just get one thing straight first: I’m not afraid of getting old; in fact, I actually relish the inevitability of it all. I think I’ll look good with short grey hair, with the subtle wrinkles that materialize when I smile. I want the experiences, the marriage, the family, the house, and eventually I want the quietness of the country to encompass me as I watch the sky fade into red in my rocking chair on my wrap-around porch. [And no, I do not just want those things because society has brainwashed me into thinking that’s what I want.]

While I do look forward to growing old, or aging gracefully as I like to call it, I would like the idea of aging even more if I could avoid certain aspects; such as the bills, taxes, jury duty, potentially working through jobs I hate, and the possibility of marriage counseling . . . .Is there a way to select which parts of adulthood I want?

I know I’m still “young” and I have “a lot of time” before I really have to concern myself with these things and—wait, no I don’t.  As my friend happily reminded me the other day, I’m about to turn twenty and school will be over in less than two months. Which means I will no longer be a teenager and I’ll be a junior in college.

And as the type of person who overanalyzes everything, that reality translated into: In a couple of years I’ll have a real job, in five years I could [but more than likely will not] be married with a child, and pretty soon I’ll have to start my retirement fund. Will social security still be a thing? Doubt it. Am I ready for this? Where has my youth gone? Is being a perpetual student really a thing because I might like that as my occupation?

I mean, what do I actually know about the real world? I don’t know how to check my credit score, or have a real relationship with someone, or how to be completely dependent on myself.

Sometimes I feel as though I’m some type of social experiment—that every child is. Our parents work hard so we don’t have to worry [about all the aforementioned things]; we go to school in a controlled environment that is a subset of the rest of the community; and then we’re taken from that controlled environment and plopped into the “real world” to sort things out for ourselves. [From what I understood about the Maze Runner movie, it seems a lot like that.] There’s no class that tells us how to be an adult, but I guess you could also just consider that class to be life….

Okay, so maybe I am a tad afraid of getting old, but it’s only because there are so many responsibilities that come with it. I think my problem is I always thought I had so much time; time to sleep, to read, to eat, for my only concern to be what foolishness NeNe was saying on Real Housewives. But with May steadily creeping upon us and people already asking me what my intentions are after college, I realize I don’t.

And that’s the scariest part of it all; because if I feel like time has moved and continues to move so quickly at this age, imagine how I’ll feel when I’m sitting on that wraparound porch.

Photo Courtesy of http://www.exceptionalhealth.org

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