When I was a pre-teen, roughly ten/eleven/twelve, I watched older girls enviously out of the corners of my eyes. They were so grown up, with their set of keys, their debit cards, their freedom to come and go as they pleased, their over-eighteen-ness that meant they could ‘go out for a drink’. They were so infinitely cool, and I couldn’t wait for the day it would be my turn.
That day didn’t come though. There isn’t one specific day when responsibility and grown-up-ness suddenly roll in, keys, cards, freedom, and wine all at once. They drip through slowly, in infinitesimal and unnoticeable increments. Slow. Small. Leaves turning.
One day, you get given a set of keys because no one will be home to let you in after school, and eventually they become yours. Another day you get your own debit card. Another day you turn eighteen, and it’s an anticlimax after all that expectation. Another day you order a glass of wine, but because you’ve been secretly underage drinking, this supposedly significant moment you awaited so patiently all those years ago just passes you by.
There is no fanfare that accompanies adulthood and responsibility. It just happens. A few weeks ago though, it suddenly occurred to me: now I’m the girl I wanted to be. The adult. I have keys, an Oyster card, my own money, my own phone, an ID.
And I got excited, for a moment. I was my pre-teen self, in my twenty-year-old body, pretending at being all grown up.