You ever get hit by a sudden realization that, when you weren't looking, you became a grown-up? I had one of those today. I had just returned from a shopping trip down Tottenham Court Road, where I had ventured out and braved the stinging cold to buy a much-needed new winter coat (my old one is 10 years old and is of prime retirement age), some books, an Oyster card for the Tube (finally), some trousers, some sweaters, new gloves, etc. After I came home I went online and bought a new laptop, and then it hit me. I'm a grown-up.
It's not that anything I did today cannot be done by an adolescent. It was just a random thought that struck me...you hear people say that these are the days of our lives, and it's true. In Western/American society, being young in the city is idealized to the extreme. According to prime-time TV, going out for drinks with your girlfriends, dating cute guys in their twenties, and gallavanting around London doing your shopping is the kind of life that everyone wants. It's not that I don't love my life; I very much do. But it's interesting when you get a sudden flash of what your life looks like to the disengaged observer. It's a weird mix of "Wow! I actually have that awesome life that people pine for!" and "This is it? THIS is what people lay awake at night wishing they had?" Again, I have no complaints. It's just striking to realize that what looks so good on TV is just pretty much normal. If the characters on Friends or Sex in the City or some other show about being urban and single were real people, I'm sure their lives wouldn't look nearly as cool to them as they do to everyone else. There are still bills to be paid, a crashing economy to worry about, homework to do, guys to fret over, tiffs with friends to regret, cold weather to curse, and so on.
I guess what I'm getting at is, it was surprising to suddenly realize that I've become all growed up to be a single girl in an awesome city who dates successful men who wear suits, gets to shop on Tottenham Court Road, goes out for drinks with her girlfriends once a week (or twice a week depending on how much our classes instigate a need for alchohol), and rides a subway every day. To me, it still feels like normal life. But to be honest?
It's pretty freakin' awesome.