I’m nineteen. I’m twenty in just over six months, which is crazy because my child self has always thought twenty to be that age where I am officially an adult, like, for real, because that is when I am literally no longer a teenager. The reality is that my child-like self currently wants to shy away from all things adult and just spend a little bit more time being irresponsible (psychologists out there must be thinking all manner of things with this statement) and this is perhaps why I have been stalling on looking for jobs, and places to live. I just don’t want to grow up. I have a Peter Pan complex going on. But today I have taken a glimpse into the future. No T.A.R.D.I.S needed.
Ed is currently away camping on an archaeological dig and is there for a week. No huge biggie, I’m used to spending time apart because university has made me that way but it’s the fact that he is away on an archaeological dig that’s made it strange. Because we are both interested in archaeology and ancient history and general history what is likely to happen, if we remain a partnership after university days and whatnot, is that we will be all over the place digging all over the world. I went on the same dig two years ago, but because I went home every night, instead of camping, I never realised what living on a camp site would be like. I didn’t know that it would only consist of one phone call per night, and spending the days waiting for the time to call. This is perhaps the least attractive thing about archaeology. At least Ed has signal though, I just feel sorry for the people there who might have children and marriages waiting for them at home, who might not have signal. Perhaps it won’t end up like this. Our plan, at this moment, if we last, is to find a job in Italy and moving there together so that I can work on restoring Pompeii, and he can go out and fulfil all manner of digs from classical to medieval periods and live on the Italian coast (preferably Sorrento) but who knows, it could end up being a case of broken phone calls as we stand in a countryside field desperately seeking signal.
Of course, while Ed is on his dig, I am currently still staying in his parents house, which feels a little bit weird, but there’s no space for me at home, unless I fancy sleeping on a sofa, futon, or on the floor. Not so much a look into life. I’m sure I’ll have my own place at some point, I’ll have to if I’m going to be in Italy. But today everyone was out. So for a little bit I pretended the house was all mine. My sister came round with Boscy, my nephew, and we chatted and watched episodes of Gossip Girl, which even though we literally live across a park from each other made it feel like she had travelled to come and see me and catch up (despite the fact we have seen each other every day since I came home). This is adult life. I always pictured adult life with Vie to be different. Miles different. For one I never imagined having a nephew when she was so adamant on never having kids. I also pictured us travelling together, living together, spending a year in New York or Los Angeles after university but it’s not going to be like that. It’s never going to be like that. It’s going to be sporadic visits and ‘catching up’ and reminiscing.
Today, while I hung out at home I waited for Pookie to come home from school and we went to the supermarket together to pick out food for dinner and then we went home and I cooked us all a meal. All right, it was bunging a pizza and garlic bread in the oven and then making super noodles for my sister, but as I heated up bottles of milk for Boscy and made the food, it made me feel like a parent. I’m still currently on this ‘I’m-never-ever-having-kids’ mindset so this idea scared me. It was weird cooking for an eleven year old. Taking on the responsible role. It was freaky. It made me feel old. It’s weird to think that maybe someday (but highly unlikely) I’d have my own eleven year old that I’d have to look after. It was weird to think that maybe in the future life will be staying at home waiting for my eleven year old to come home from school and then cooking them dinner and looking after it. Making sure that they’re ready for Scouts or Girl Guides and then tidying up.
Life will be me looking after the kids, somewhere in Italy, but probably actually England, actually back home, because the education is better. (of course I could send them to boarding school while I preserve Pompeii, but where would I get the tuition fees from an archaeologists salary?) Ed will be off on some dig somewhere, making me very jealous that I am not out there too. I will be missing him, waiting by the phone because I don’t know when he’ll next get signal or when I’ll see him next. I’ll get visits from my sister every so often, and will go to see my parents when I get the time. That will be life. Not anything near what my dreams are. I probably won’t ever find the right time to live in Los Angeles and New York and Paris just because I want to. There will come a time when I have to settle in one place and stop travelling the world and more. Maybe not. But probably. It’s weird.
So I haven’t done any taxes today, or anything else as responsible and adult-y as that but I have had a glimpse into the future from the little things. Those little things that make people realise that one day they can’t be Peter Pan and remain child-like as ever. It was an epiphany that freaked me out because I am still very much a person that is incredibly naive, that still has a childish wonder about the world and desire to just explore it. I’m a person that is too shy to order in restaurants. How can I be an adult? I don’t want to be an adult. Not yet. Definitely not yet.
I think, this may just be the first time in my life that I actually relate to Wendy from Peter Pan. I know that there are responsibilities that I will have to accept, but I just don’t want to yet. I want to fly away to never-land and not go back for a long time. I mean, I know that I am only nineteen and I have years yet before I actually have to settle down for real. But seriously, that time will go incredibly quickly, I’ll be a fully sledged adult in six months for Pete’s sake, my mum had my sister and I when she was twenty, and I’ll have to get a job and that will actually change the entire game-plan. I must say, though, that although there seems to be one major downside to archaeology I’m glad I chose it and have a passion and ambition in that, because although I may not have great contact, or a permanent house, and I’ll be living in a tent most likely, I can still travel the world and keep some of my childhood dream. At least for a bit.