Adulthood, without doubt, comes with the responsibility to not only have responsibility and be responsible, but also to make immense choices which can wholly determine your future. The obvious choices are made with, most often, the supervision of parents, or a higher authority. The choice of further education is constantly tinged with information, advice and gently nudging to, in what in theirs eye is, the right direction. The powers that be, however, the ones that have a tight grip on the reigns of your departure from adolescence and into adulthood, seem to pick and choose when they impart their influence on you.
When you turn 18, legal doors that were once closed open for you. Alcohol, cigarettes, sex, driving, marriage, voting; all things which, in the eyes of the law, constitute an adult become available to you. And while you may be legally permitted to take part in these necessary “adult” things, the scrutiny and judgement of your partaking cannot be escaped.
The age of 18 gives newly-appointed adults the opportunity to consummate this transition from teenager, to grown-up. But at what age does the maturity and wisdom required to make these decisions come? Is it true that age brings wisdom?
But if that were the case, then every decision ever made by someone would be regretted the next day by an older, wiser version of your self. If age brings wisdom, then must we wait until we are on our death bed to make a truly informed decision?
It seems to me that certainty is never certain. For almost as long as I can remember, I had wanted to be a primary school teacher, up until three years ago. I can remember being in primary school at the age of seven watching my teacher write on the white-board and thinking, “Yes. That is what I want to do”. And that want followed me until I reached Fourth Year, when I realised that I had other interests and passions that I wanted to explore. Now, I am not sure if I even want to venture down that career path. It seems that it is not only my body that has grown up over the years. My opinions and tastes have also changed. Things which were once certain in my mind, based on years of experience, are no longer true. This seems to prove that age does bring change to things that were once certain. So if you are beginning to feel certainty in something build within you, how can you be sure that it will last, or that it is true enough to last?
Age brings change. Your hair grows longer, your boobs get bigger (so I hear), your eyesight gets worse and your taste in music gets better. Your friend group, your opinions and feelings change with you. We are constantly getting older, constantly changing, within and without. Is there an age that stops this change for you, so that the decisions based upon the feelings and opinions you have at that moment, will be certain forever? Feeling something one day, one week or one year does not guarantee that it will last and stay that way forever. Perhaps nothing lasts at all, and permanence must be fought for, and sought after. Perhaps it is a rare thing, and that is why it is not heard of that often.
Or maybe, I feel this way today, and it will all change tomorrow, when I’m older and wiser.