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Kidulthood.

April 5, 2011

[I am going to try to blog as much as possible over the next couple of weeks, but my internet at home is awful and its taken me about twenty minutes to load the ‘Add New Post’ page, so it may be an uphill struggle. Will try none the less.]

Today’s PostaDay topic is ‘When did you realize you were an adult’. This fits nicely with today’s post, I had a vague idea of what to write in mind, but this will give it more of structure and ultimately a wider point. Which is the idea of PostaDay I suppose…

I am now home from uni for about three weeks, the first two it will be just me and then I’m collecting R from the airport to stay with me for the last week. Coming home from uni is always a little strange, switching from fending for yourself, cooking, cleaning and paying for everything, to, at the most, just contributing to those things (I know a lot of people won’t lift a finger at home, I’m not like that). Being at uni makes you feel like an adult, but going home reminds you that you’re not, not just yet. This may not go for everyone, but it’s what I’ve found.

By law, I’m an adult. I have been for almost 3 years. I can vote, drive, have sex, buy knives and cigarettes. I can’t yet supervise someone learning to drive, although I will be able to by the end of the year, or hire a car for a few more years yet. Those are about the only limitations on my day-to-day life based on my age. Turning 18 didn’t really make me feel like an adult, despite the legal status. I was still at school for one thing, had about six more months of being told when, what and where to learn ahead of me. I did leave that home that year, to live in Southampton, which due to the wonders of the British transport system is about a two hours drive away, but about 3.5 hours by train/coach.  Distance from my childhood has made me feel more like an adult. However, for various reasons, my parents pay my rent and I think it is this which most acts as a reminder that, although an adult by law, in many ways I have far to come.

Which brings me to my point. As of last week, my dad no longer has a job. Funding cuts have decided that the company he  worked for, for over thirty years, is no longer of vital importance. This isn’t a huge deal money-wise, he’s going to take early retirement, my parents basically own our house and my mum earns enough to keep them going. However, it does bring the household income down considerably. It’s also not been a surprise, the company have been aware for a long time that funding may not be forthcoming. I had previously been quite worried about it, not only for the financial ramifications but for the impact it will have on my dad. However now it’s actually happened, I’ve been remarkably calm. Obviously I am concerned about my parents but the thing I’m not worried about is its impact on me. It has clicked, I am, for all intents and purposes, an adult. Adults support themselves. My parents have always supported me and accepted that my anxiety has stopped me getting a Saturday job like my sister did at sixteen. However there are more important factors at stake now, the money they give me for rent will no doubt be of better use to them for paying their bills. I have already said that this is the year I will get a job, now I have extra incentive to do so. I’m hoping this feeling of calm will remain for a while longer so I can start to address this. If not, I’ll have to find the courage from somewhere else.

It’s time to be an adult.

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