When I was a young warthog… especially in my teens (where I behaved like a pig most of the time), I used to get excited at the prospect of getting older.
Oh, the freedom! I couldn’t wait! I already had a clear idea of how I’d look, walk, talk, dress, what car I’d be driving and how much I’d be earning. My cocky and completely naïve self was ready to grab the 20s by the horns!
Then, just as I approached Twentiesville, that malevolent bitch we call reality paid me an unexpected visit and slapped me right across the face, breaking my rose-colored glasses.
Now, literally a day away from turning 25 – that’s a quarter-century (as I pull my hair out) - I find myself embarrassingly disillusioned. Growing up isn’t the thrilling adventure I thought it would be; I was never ready! A collective of filmmakers, musicians and authors sold me dreams and I won’t stop until I hunt them down, one by one.
Society feeds you bullshit about what adulthood entails, and because of this, you’re never fully prepared. You get thrust head first, into this big, bad jungle with minimal resources and get told to sort yourself out.
You’re told half-truths about how you need a qualification if you’re to find a decent job and live a comfortable life. One thing you will soon realize is that ‘forever young’ and ‘the world is your oyster’ become myths once you graduate from college.
You’ll be lucky if you land your dream job by the time you’re twenty-two. You’re more likely to wake up every morning preparing to go to a job you loathe, flipping zap signs at your boss every time they have their back turned towards you.
You’re never going to be satisfied with your salary because most of it will always go towards paying your bills and sometimes you’ll be forced to apply for credit just to get through the month. You’re also likely to pick up a drinking problem because of this. As a result (and if you’re lucky) you’ll probably suffer from a phuza face, premature ejaculation and the like, in your mid-30s.
You’ll have moments where you log on to Facebook or Instagram and see the people you went to college with doing amazing things with their lives – and it’s going to PISS. YOU. OFF. You’ll get so sick of seeing their #blessed #n*ggawemadeit #nicelifeproblems posts that you’ll start to feel an inexplicable rage develop from the very depths of your soul. This rage will consume you so much that you’ll stop liking their posts, or worse, click the unfollow button!
There is however, a flip side. The twenties are also a time for recreating oneself. You have less fucks to give trying to please folk and you spend more time fulfilling yourself. The twenties make you unapologetic about who you are, and they make you realize that withholding your opinion achieves nothing.
I’ll admit that my cynicism stems from fear; I am shit scared. Not about growing older, but about not being in control.
What does life after 25 have in store? Will my career finally be where I want it to be? Will this writing thing finally work out for me? Will I breakaway from the starving artist syndrome? Will I get married; have kids, a fleet of cars and a beautiful home in Dainfern?
In retrospect, I suppose this is when life actually begins. 'Tis the natural course I must pursue, whether I like it or not.