Seventeen Going on Eighteen

Perhaps this is a bit premature but I’m beginning to feel the deep fear of becoming an adult. I’m currently doing driving lessons and discussing universities and careers with teachers at school. As soon as I get in a car or sit in a meeting a single thought always occurs: I am not old enough to do this.

I say discussing my future, but I really mean avoiding discussing my future. There are only so many times you can refuse to click on personal statement ideas e-mails or refuse to research the process of getting a CV until you have to face the music. Applications and processes feel unreal and like I’m playing house as a little child not as a legal adult in March next year.

Driving is going okay however communication is difficult for me in the car. I know mostly what I’m doing but being asked how many cars could be lined vertically on a piece of road inevitably leads to responses such as;

How big are the cars?”, “Depends on the road.”, “No. Yes. I’m not sure.”, “What type of cars are they – is there any buses?”

Such questions are far too vague for my head to understand but I try my best and that seems to be good enough for now.

However my point is that I feel as though I’ve been in a coma from birth only to wake up last year having missed so much of my life, now expected to then be an adult without the proper training. The truth is that most of my life has been spent with OCD and undiagnosed ASD. For years I was depressed and focusing on my compulsions at the expense of my health and I barely had time to focus on my own life investing too much energy in worries and insecurities.

That’s not to say I’ve never had good times in the past because I have, but the net-whole of my life has been a cycle of avoidance, stress and depression. Now that my life is so much better due to fighting my OCD and getting support for my ASD, I feel as though I’m little kid again. I want to be stupid and carefree like I was supposed to be way back when and although to some degree I can it doesn’t make up for the years that I lost.

Perhaps my fear of growing up and becoming an adult is part of the grieving process for the life that I could’ve had if my brain was different.

Eventually I will have to grow up, as will every other teenager, but for now I’m going to shut up and drive and get career support through my high school. I’m going to sort out my future even if I’m not ready for it to come. Maybe growing up will take longer than eighteen years for me and maybe that’s okay.

Even though I fear my future education, responsibilities and life, I will cross that bridge when I come to it. For now though, I’m off to play fortnite.

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