Josh Recommends: “Chicago” by Sufjan Stevens

Part of getting old is realising that at least, to begin with, you are not old at all.

I am only twenty-one (and a few months). My teenage days are just behind me, retreating in rear view mirror. In their place, something nebulous has emerged.

Adulthood. At least I think it’s adulthood.

It’s hard to tell.

When I was seventeen, eleven months, and thirty days old I was a minor. A day passed and suddenly I was “adult”. It was scary and intimidating and no one has any useful advice about what I should do. I decided to go to university. My parents said they were proud. Once there I got drunk a lot. I skipped lectures even more. Made lots of mistakes. Generally, I did not behave like an adult and I certainly did not feel like one.

Then I became an adult again when I turned twenty-one. My family gave me a few nice gifts, told me they were proud. But nothing changed a much. Sure, I got drunk less, went to lectures more. Got a job that pays enough to necessitate doing taxes. Despite all that, I kept making mistakes. Some days it felt like they were making themselves. I never ever felt like an adult.

Then one day my adolescence was over. Gone. Poof. It’s hard to say when it started going. But I knew it was gone when I understood that my parents have been saying they are proud all this time because while I’m making mistakes, they not the same ones they made, that they are still making. Because adults make mistakes, and they never feel like adults. Not really.

That’s adulthood, I think.

I am old enough now to know that I am not old, and I have a lifetime of mistakes ahead of me. It makes me want to laugh and vomit and dance and scream. No matter what I choose I am almost certain it will be a mistake.

So, for now, I’ll listen to ‘Chicago’.

(Song recommendation by Joshua Sorensen)

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