It comes as no surprise that a 20-something year old like me should be confused, assured, wavering and irrationally confident all at the same time. It seems a prerequisite to this awkward transition from blissful teenagehood to in-denial adulthood. The presence of this phenomenon occurred at a most inconvenient time for myself- a family gathering. The entire family, which by average Asian standards includes everyone ranging from that cousin your grandparents are always comparing you to, to that great or grand uncle who is ‘related to your mother’s brother’s wife’s father’s mother’s who cares’. Everything was going fine and dandy, handing out the food and drinks and answering the awkward remember me’s? and what are you doing now’s, until a cousin came to ask if I wanted to join them in a game of cards. While the decision to play that crucial game of cards with the 4-17 year olds would have been incredibly easy to make a year ago (it’s a resounding yes!), I found myself declining the offer and instead choosing to sit with the aunts to discuss life related issues that were usually drowned in a loud exclamation of ‘Go Fish!’.
With the anxious, hormone-antagonistic years of our teens comes the revelation that life isn’t all that it was cracked up to be in our adolescence. The countless hours of cramming for that test, trying to impress the opposite sex and finding the right amount of rebel to suit our teen-needs are then scoffed at by our cocksure adult selves. And then we realize we’re still not adult enough (if there is such a thing) when you overhear that one grandparent telling a friend ‘ she’s 16 now, it’s terribly sad how fast they grow up!’ That’s 22 grandma. 22. Hence, the few revelations of a 22 year old:
1. The more you repeat that half-baked post university plan to everyone who comes-a inquirin, the more you begin to believe in it yourself.
2. If the above is said in a loud, confident tone with lots of abbreviations (example tip- LSJ, MSCPR,AABA- full forms of which are related to my journalistic ambitions but tend to invent full forms of according to my fancy or forgetfulness), the nosy person will cease all questioning and begin singing praises of ‘your ambitious sure-to-succeed daughter!’ to your mother. Point Under Construction due to zilch results.
3. Allow that uncle to pinch your currently non-existent cheeks. It is a cyclical waste of one’s breath to repeat for the gazillionth time that you haven’t had puffy pinch-able cheeks since you were five and that you would like to be treated like an adult in front of your fiancee and his family. Sad truth of a close cousin.
4. I will never be able to fit a pre-work work out.
5. I will never be able to get out of bed before the last possible minute that I can be, to get to work/university on time. Possibly why point 4 will remain a never.
6. Prepare a standard reply of a non-committal ‘Mhm’ when asked questions relating to marriage.
7. You are old enough to have a drivers license but not adult enough for your parents to trust you with the car on your own.
I realize 7 is an odd number (literally too!) to end a list on but these took top priority at the moment. Besides, as I was told by an astrologer yesterday – ‘ 22 year olds with decisions in constant fluctuation and only a handful of memorable experiences just doesn’t take that long to read. Don’t overeat, drink more water, lose weight, wake up earlier, focus.’ And there’s your evened out point number 8.