Ain’t That Young Anymore
Posted on March 17, 2012
“So you’re scared and you’re thinking
That maybe we ain’t that young anymore”
- Bruce Springsteen, Thunder Road, 1975
This is the last post which I will ever write as a “child”. In less than 1 hour I will be 18 years old. 00:00, March 18th 2012 marks the moment at which my childhood will officially end, being replaced by the void which is my future as an adult. I stare the rest of my life in the face, and reflect upon what has been – almost – 18 years of life. When I think about everything which I have experienced, both individually, and as part of my family, and society, I am staggered that, as opposed to coming to the end of adulthood, I am merely just beginning. With this in mind it should seem fitting that I would feel able to embrace adulthood from any moment, yet the truth is that tonight I sit here, with 54 minutes until I become an adult, with unquestionable trepidation – although that should not detract from the fervent excitement I feel at the possibility of realising my dreams.
My childhood has thrown upon me more experiences than I would have expected the whole of life itself to, and whilst it is arguable that I was thrust into adulthood some years ago, only now am I about to become 18 – and for whatever reason, that “official” age which represents adulthood being associated with me is frankly surreal. It seems like only yesterday that my best friend Liam and I were “playing” soldiers in the fields behind my house. Liam is now a soldier in the 9th/12th Royal Lancers of the British Army, as a vehicle mechanic. Many of my friends are now embarking upon careers, whether academic or within jobs. Many are now driving, and most are experiencing the joys of getting pissed in bars and clubs. School will soon be over, and the fact is that we are all growing up.
Had you asked me a few years ago about where I expected to be at this point in my life, I would have responded by telling you of my intentions of pursuing a “professional” degree, for a “professional” career. I would have expected at this point to be in the process of accepting a place at University, and despite getting 5/5 offers from University a few weeks ago, I will soon be leaving school not to pursue academics, but rather my dream of seeing Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band on their World Tour (which kicks off the moment I become an adult), and my intentions of travelling to New Jersey, the Land of Hope and Dreams, and heck – if I don’t end up staying there (*fingers crossed for an opportunity to arise*) – I will dedicate more time to just doing what makes me happy. I am more than prepared to get a ‘punch in, punch out’ job, and will spend my hard earned cash travelling, and of course I will enjoy the pleasure of writing wherever it is that my ventures take me. There are some who disagree with my decisions regarding my life and future, but that’s just it – they are my decisions to make. I am following my heart, and the first time in a while am looking forward to enjoying life to the full.
I could sit here and spend the last 32 minutes of my childhood talking about the experiences which have made my childhood the rite of passage which it has been, but that can wait for the future. At this moment, despite all that has defined the past few years – a lot of which I have written about here, I am making the conscientious and active decision to enter adulthood in the way in which I intend to embrace it – with optimism, excitement, and determination to make my dreams real.
People have asked me how I intend to mark my transition into adulthood, and whilst I know it is considered tradition to go out and get totally drunk when one becomes 18 (which I won’t be doing for obvious reason, ha ha. Although – “like father like son”!), I am going to mark my 18th in the most special way I know. At 3 minutes to midnight I am going to play “Jungleland”, and so it will be the magic, beauty, and soul of Clarence Clemon’s famous Sax solo which takes me into the future. I will spend my last moments of childhood, and my first moments of adulthood with the BIGGEST MAN YOU’VE EVER SEEN.
I have faith in the future, and as Springsteen so passionately proclaims - FAITH will be REWARDED. And even though I’m scared and thinking that maybe I ain’t that young anymore, The Boss reminds me to Show a little faith, there’s magic in the night… You aint a beauty, but hey you’re alright. Oh, and that’s alright with me.