It’s 2am on a Friday night. You’re completely sober. You’re 28 (or so,) and you live on your own. You’ve got a pantry full of goodies and a freezer full of ice cream sandwhiches. You see a picture online of ice cream (ok fine, someone eating it on Keeping up with the Kardashians) and immediately get a craving for it. You look up at your clock, notice the time and then realize the time doesn’t matter. You’re an adult now. You can do what you want. No need to check in with parents or a babysitter. No need to sneak into the kitchen hoping no one will hear your footsteps at this shameful hour. You can have it all. And in that same moment you realize, meh – no need.
How funny it is when we’re younger, we can’t wait until we are older so we can be in charge. So we can make our own decisions without supervision. And yet, a time comes where we learn the difference between bad and good and rarely do we even put ourselves – freedom et al. – in a position that is bad. I find it sort of sad how we spend much of our lives hoping and waiting for something else. To be done primary school, to be out of high school, to be done university and live alone, to have a job, to be married, only to want our freedom again. Can we not just be happy as we are? Why are we ever-so-consumed with wanting?
Last weekend I had a slumber party with my niece (6 years old) and nephew (4 years old.) We all cuddled up in my bed and the four year old kept saying he didn’t want to go to sleep and wanted to stay up all night. I laughed to myself because it was only 8:30pm or so and I was ready to just crash. I told him he can stay up all night and tuck me in, because I’m about to call it a day. A few minutes later he was asleep, my niece and I dosing off just moments after.
To see this in him, and to observe their envy that – if I wanted – at the same hour I could’ve had sweets and snacks because I’m a “grown up” I felt a sense of sadness. I wished I could tell them to just enjoy the now. That things will change and they won’t want what they once thought they did because, that’s how things often work out. But then I realize all the happenings and no’s and yes’s and right’s and wrong’s and high’s and low’s I have seen and learned along the way have helped shape me, my personality, my decisions. This realization reassures me that I wouldn’t be the me that I am today without those hands-on experiences, for better or for worse. And does it ever feel good to be here. For now, at least.
- Jenny Jen
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