“I well remember how sure I was of myself when I was in my teens. I’m not critical of teens today.”
Loretta Young (American Actress, 1913-2000)
Today’s exercise is to write about someone by becoming the other person and it is a coincidence because just this morning, at about 8:00 a.m., I jotted down an idea that popped into my head as I watched my middle daughter get ready to leave for her unpaid internship: “the reluctant adult.” It is a jump over a tremendous chasm, the jump from independent teen to becoming a member of the adult working world, and there is a lot to contend with. Being a teen allows one to sleep through the morning and into mid-afternoon as the sun forces it’s way between the blinds or between small slices of shutters. No one expects a teen to get up early, or for that matter, to talk, much before noon. So it is almost a crime against nature for a 20 something, barely out of the luxurious teen bubble, to accept the responsibility of waking to an alarm, forcing a small amount of nourishment down, packing (yes, packing, because with an unpaid internship comes the realization that spending money to eat lunch out really does not make a lot of sense) lunch, and facing the morning commute.
The reluctant adult gives up the days of sunning, shopping and lunching with friends funded by a part time retail job in a store with ear-splitting music and air perfumed with the scents for sale. The reluctant adult realizes that by 11:00 p.m. one who works all day is actually tired, and needs to sleep in order to get up with tomorrow’s alarm. The reluctant adult is thrilled that it is Wednesday, with Friday in view. Though the reluctant adult is slowly learning how to function in the adult world, the summer evenings still beckon and the weekends hold the promise of a chance to slip back to the carefree days, if only for a few short hours.