18, 21, 50. The big age milestones that tend to be celebrated that bit extra than all the others, the ones that people comment on the most.
I’m turning twenty, and it seems pretty big to me. Moving out of the teen world and into the twenties, where people pay rent and fix tyres and bake shepherds pie. Where people know exactly what coffee they want and what dentist to go to. Where people have their own style and a gym membership.
Will I ever be ready for this?
I can get by in the small things, like remembering to buy shampoo before I run out, or washing my sheets, but some things I don’t know that I’ll ever ‘get’, like choosing to eat an apple instead of a chocolate biscuit.
How does my mum manage to not have a side of chips when she goes out for dinner, and how does she manage to choose wholemeal bread rather than white? Is this something I’ll ever understand? I hope so, because it seems like a pretty good way to be.
And I may never enjoy booking my own dentist appointment, but as I look back on the last few years, adulthood has seemed to creep up on me. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t buy my own train tickets, when this time ten years ago I hadn’t even been on a train by myself.
When did I start making executive decisions, when did I start choosing to say yes to this and no to that without asking my parents’ permission first? Many things are simpler once you’re in them, such as ringing up the dentist and telling them you want to book an appointment, but what happens when they ask you if you’re covered by private healthcare and you just have no idea?
Right now, I’m fully capable of washing my clothes. But that doesn’t mean I would be confident if I had to go out and buy my own washing machine. And I think to myself, once I face the mission of buying my own washing machine, will I find myself knowing what to do, having had the knowledge creep up on me without me realising? Or will I have to quickly research it online twenty minutes before leaving the house to go and buy one?
I think about this washing machine thing more than I should,