Here’s the thing: I’m nineteen years old, living in a metropolis that offers me the best of experiences and yet here I am, feeling as though I’ve missed out on a lot of things in life. I lead a privileged life as compared to some other people in my country, but that’s not the thing I want to talk about today.
People my age are doing things I’ve never even thought of doing: sex, drinking, drugs, concerts, taking solo trips around the world and here I sit, curled up with a book. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it’s hard not to feel I’m missing out. I keep wondering, are we the same age? How are they ready to go drinking and get drunk in front of others, how do they trust so easily?
How are they so open about showing their body to someone else? Is there a class for getting comfortable and sharing your intimate details and then your body with someone else? Hell, I get nervous just sharing my pizza, I feel like they might not appreciate the toppings I got? Across all the YA books I read, people are falling in love and having sex at sixteen and seventeen and I look back at myself when I was sixteen and wonder if there is any universe where I would be ready to have sex at sixteen, I doubt it.
But I’ve been thinking about this for sometime now, it’s been bugging me how different I am from a majority of my peers in terms of what milestones we’ve achieved and it all comes down to one thing: trust. I don’t trust people enough to open myself up to anyone, I don’t trust anyone not to make fun of my body, and I don’t trust anyone enough to share anything about me.
The thing about sex is how you view it determines how much value it holds for you. I simultaneously think it’s nothing big and everything important. On days I think it’s important and a rite of passage (college life and all), I wonder if I’m going to be left behind, all alone with a bunch of books for company. And on other days, books and solitude seem like the most blissful thing ever, boyfriends and lovers seem like nothing more than a distraction from achieving my goals. It’s the same with drinking – I’ve never been drunk in my whole life, and I don’t understand how someone can allow themselves to be so vulnerable in front of someone else. One of my major fears is getting drugged and raped while drunk, which is a cold, terrifying reality for women everywhere, the more potent question is why I don’t trust people I’ve known for years and who are my best friends to take care of me if I get drunk.
Where has this deep distrust come from? More importantly, why have I only started thinking about these experiences now? I have no intention to get high or smoke a cigarette just because others are doing it, but things like going out with friends for a fun night and letting loose are important to me. They make memories and I’m only going to be young once. I’m in my final year in college and it is really odd how I haven’t done things most of my peers did in their first year in junior college.
Maybe now I’ll try and be a bit more open to experiences and make an actual effort to socialize more with my friends and maybe even trust them to keep me safe (which they
hopefully will). Maybe I need to stop being the Mom Friend™ for a change and realize that I can trust folks and have some fun too. Being responsible and dependant is fine and all, but it’s also good to have some occasional fun that does not come from reading books and binge-watching shows.
Here’s to some courage, trusting people and new experiences.
Until next time,
P.S: I’m in no way saying you should get drunk and have sex because you’re young. They’re not things one *must* do before one gets old. There’s a lot more to do when you’re young, making a difference and helping others is always as good place to start, as is being a decent human being. Life is full of choices. If you want to read a book and if that makes you happy, that’s great. If you want to have sex with another consenting adult, that’s great too. Make good choices that make you happy. That’s what life should be about.