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Nineteen and Still Kicking (and Screaming)

Nineteen is an interesting age to find yourself in. After a couple months I have found its not as cool-sounding as 18 nor as refined as 21. It is my limbo age: too young to be successful and satisfied, and too old to still be working at McDonalds. So here I am, somewhere between the destination of having a career, a place of my own and a man, to the last stages of the now-not-so-itchy mosquito bite that is puberty. I wouldn’t say I’m glamorous, but I like to believe I’m on my way.
Nineteen is the age where you’re treated like you’re still a teenager but expected to think like an adult; the age where you can’t blame teen-angst anymore for ‘how much things suck’ but must face them with a greater understanding of ‘life’s balance’; and of course to begin setting yourself on the steady track of your future path (because dreams of being a famous something-or-other are by now expected to be struck down by a strong dose of reality). There are days when I can feel a sense of the monotonous ‘bla-bla-bla’ (onomatopoeia for existence), but am still too young and hopeful to become its slave. This age is the grey area of life where now’s the “make it or break it” time. Everything feels vulnerable, everything. From choices of university to travelling, to friends and feelings, from ideas and hopes… its all thrown together in some festering soup of emotions which can’t seem to be blamed on anything else but ‘growing up’ or ‘clinical depression’.
So what does one do while sitting on the fence, apart from sipping countless cups of varied tea and watching over twenty hours of ‘Sex and The City’? That’s a very good question, and one I’ve been asking myself since I’ve come of the age. What the hell am I doing with my life? I can’t visualise myself in one specific career, or any lasting one. Some days I see myself venturing across Africa in cargo pants and a baggy t-shirt that’s fluttering in the wind while we pass lions on a safari; other times I see myself very sophisticated and chic at the opening of my first art exhibition in a fabulous city; to days where I’m on a bustling film set working on the movie I just wrote, or sitting at the premiere and hoping it will leave a great impact; to wearing a business suit and having a very heated yet well-presented argument with some balding political figure in the United Nations General Assembly; to sitting in a spacious yet cosy lounge room on a soft rug among my family in front of a fire place, just enjoying our own silent company.
Its crazy to think I can do all that, and also crazy for me to think what if I can’t. If I can’t experience everything to my heart’s desire, how will I ever be satisfied? I have been injected with an unbalance of too much logic and too much optimism, and we all know what happens when someone overdoses. There are just too many pretty cakes on the table for me to pick one, and if I eat all of them I’ll feel sick. Sigh. At least something is clear to me: I am the type of nineteen that is still too young to make up my mind (so glamour must also be a far-off reach). I guess for now I’ll just keep sitting on the fence and drinking my tea… until something temporarily definite comes along to yank me off.

Danielle Sophia Raffaele
30th March 2008

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