I’m scared out of my mind.
The last two days, the last week, the last month, I’ve been scared. I’m an almost 15 year old girl, ready, apparently, to start living in the real world in only a matter of years, and it keeps on hitting me that I have no idea what I’m doing.
Yesterday evening we had a discussion at my school about GCSEs, about Year 11, about Sixth Form, about university and getting jobs and the importance of everything we do everyday and how we need to choose carefully, and I hummed in my head to the tune of my tapping leg: ‘what is the point what is the point what is the point what is the point’.
You see, we’re going to pass all our exams and then go to university and sweat nervously through our interviews. Some of us will go to Oxbridge. Some of us will get nice jobs in advertising or insurance or become doctors and teachers, and maybe we will fall in love (or not at all because there’s 7 billion people in the world and what’s the chance that you’ll meet the Mystical One?) and it will be comfortable enough until we retire and finally die, and there you go, that’s your one shot, congratulations.
I want to be a scientist – making medicines to help combat diseases so I can save lives and going against everything my mum believes in. Maybe I should be bean astronomer, or an oncologist, or fight the pollution problem from the back of my lab. I’m a self-confessed nerd, and this personally sounds like heaven, and is probably what they mean when they say a ‘fulfilling career’. Despite my pipe dream however, I know I’m not going to leave an impact beyond perhaps a scientific paper or my maybe children. After I die, I’ll be dead and gone and in a few decades everyone I knew will be dead and that will be that. That will be the end of moi.
It’s a depressing thought. I know I’m not really destined for great things, but once upon a time I believed that when I grew up I could be happy all of the time. No school, I thought, no bullies, no people telling you what to do, no worries about money or hanging out with people you don’t like. There would be someone sitting by your bed every morning who would look you sincerely in the eyes and tell you that you’re beautiful, and life would be exactly how it should.
A theory that has been disproved by extensive analysis of every adult I’ve ever known. It turns out that there’ s many ways things can go wrong. I’m scared to grow up because I think I’ll turn out like a secondary character in a bad movie. Or like my parents. Or like everyone who knew from early on that life wasn’t easy but who kept on pushing because they didn’t know anything else and because all they knew was in a meat suit at the back of two eyes.
My tapping continues and the tune gets louder. Someone is saying something about UCAS applications and my mum is taking notes, and I am thinking what a gloriously superfluous existence I lead and what a useless life I’m planning.
The only thing that saves me from crying continuously in my room, my head in the sand until it all stops swirling, is the thought that people are people, and if you sift through the dungheap of humanity enough you can find someone to cry on in the middle of the night, and that might be the best feeling in the world.