When I was a child I’d always associate my grandparents with tea and biscuits due to the fact at 3pm on the dot at every visit we’d have tea and biscuits. It was an association I made in my narrow mind of growing up and being adult when you could do the same thing; every day; every year. Instead of when you’re a kid the world never stops changing around you; and you don’t stop changing…however when you get old….the world keeps changing…and you don’t.
Looking back on my grand philosophical 8 year old I also admire my sense of black and white distinction. Because 14 years later I find myself at a cross roads when it comes to my own ability to class myself as a adult.
Over the last two weeks; the students arrived at the University I work at and my real job has begun. From moving them into their halls to walking them through their first lectures I see the fresh face youths of tomorrow. Three years ago I was in their place; three years later I suddenly find myself standing amongst them yet also above them.
When an adult is 45 and their friend is 41 there doesn’t seem very much difference. Yet when someone is 22 and 18 there screams the world of difference. I always considered myself to be older than I seemed and suddenly it screams even more the real when I see some of the students of today.
And my growing up point is this. Where is it do I place myself in the growing up world. I send my time working for mainly people whom are much younger than me. I still connect, I still understand their plights, struggles, concerns. And yet more than often the often trivial naivety of youth makes me wish to be older and away from it all.
Further to this, and a rather strange jump in topic, is my deep deep hatred for night clubs. With drinks you dislike, music you loath and members of the opposite sex I wouldn’t touch I fail to understand why I even go. And again I walk home after another miserable night out questioning why I bother. To which I then come to conclusion I must have met that point.
There are many things I miss about being a teenager. That narrow, tunnel vision like quality where cause and affect have no connection, that naivety about the world where time always stands still for you. I regret the many more stupid things I could have done and regret the many stupid stupid things I did do.
But I don’t miss all of it. I’m better with money; better and more confident with people; I have a greater and more rounded understanding of our world. I’m respected and I lead. Yet again there is something that doesn’t feel right.
I feel I’m stuck between the blissful unawareness of youth and the adult worth on regime and understanding. I know I have crossed the line into adulthood yet where does the title stick and old label fall off.
Then again, on a training course in Bristol back in August I saw a message stuck up in a toilet that said this…..
‘You don’t stop playing because you grow up….
You group up because you stop playing….’
Maybe there is some hope yet.