Baby steps to adulthood

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As I remarked in last month’s column, I’m in a sort of transit stage; no longer in state-mandated education, I will be beginning my NTCJ Journalism Diploma on the sixteenth.

As I remarked in last month’s column, I’m in a sort of transit stage; no longer in state-mandated education, I will be beginning my NTCJ Journalism Diploma on the sixteenth. It’s baby steps towards becoming a fully-fledged adult, which seems diabolically scary to me. I’m even learning Dutch and how to cook, for goodness sake! I’m also continually looking for part time employment.

I re-read Catlin Moran’s novel, How To Build A Girl; the theme-that you have to ‘build yourself’, having realised the version your parents’ built isn’t necessarily the right one-sort of resonated with me. The main character uses music, poetry, quotes, words, people in history to do so.. She builds a newer, better version of herself.

This served almost to compound a sense of loss; having stopped attending college, I’ve hardly talked to anyone I know-bar a few individuals-and have been on a incredibly small number of social outings. Everyone I know, virtually, is going off to University-whereas I’m not-and they needed to prepare if moving into Halls.

Subsequently, I started to make a list, a mental list, like the character in the book, of: what to keep; what not to keep; dislikes and likes; good and bad qualities, etc:

Good at research-can focus in on special interest areas (because, Aspergers) such as The Cold War, US Presidents-I’m ‘mad’ for this subject-, Anne Frank, the poetry of Sylvia Plath, the Russian Revolution, the sixties, World War Two.

Noisy: can ask too many questions, not always for my own good. And it’s a habit I’m trying to curb,to a degree. Could be useful as an Aspiring Journalist. But it does allow me to interview people.

Apparently has a fixation for Skittles, although as a matter of principle, I disagree with this.

Likes: letter writing (it’s how I became a Columnist for this very paper! This is also how I’m learning to speak Dutch.), Sylvia Plath’s poetry as already mentioned, Queen (because who doesn’t like Freddie Mercury?), Mystery/Thriller books, Sherlock, cats, blogging, interviewing people, concerts, collecting vinyl.

Dislikes: disorganisation, a low bank balance (don’t we all?!), eye contact being held for too long, and disregard for History.

But I sort of got lost in creating this list, the futile blueprint; trying to ‘build yourself’ means you can get lost in the minor details. It’s not useful, now, to be looking back nostalgically, wishing I could turn back time to when I was attending college. It’s what I’ve been doing stupidly for the past few weeks.

Reflecting on this list, I came to a conclusion, and sort of said it to myself: stop looking back, there will be time, later in life, to be nostalgic. Stop musing, pondering over the tiny details; be a Daredevil instead. Be excited for what happens next! Look forward to your future. (Sorry to be cheesy and cliched.)

That’s the hard lesson I’ve learnt this month; I’ll be taking this advice with me, as I move on.

Currently I am: Listening to: Coming Around Again by Carly Simon, although I’m looking forward to Anastacia’s new album, Evolution.

Reading: The Power by Naomi Alderman.

Learning: I Taste A Liqour Never Brewed, a poem by Emily Dickinson.

Practising: Shorthand. Hopefully I’ll be able to write a hundred words a minute, one day.