I’m turning 21 in nine days. I take it that doesn’t freak you out anywhere near as much as it freaks me out, because suddenly I’ve passed all of the hurdles required to be a normal citizen with normal rights. For some reason in America, you can have sex before you can drink, but I suppose they don’t want to encourage a new generation of Charlie Sheens, one of them was enough to scar the previous.
What scares me most, for some reason, is that some of the people I most admire were already professionals by the time they were my age, or even before. The fact that some were already firmly set on the path that would carry them throughout their life by the time I’ve managed to write a rejected novel, get semi-well known in a band that split up and get a third of the way into my BSc makes me wonder if I have enough time to excel the way some have before me.
I know, it’s a stupid question, and that knowing that I’ll never be ‘the youngest person to do x’ is something that, given the likelihood of anyone being that person, I really shouldn’t be too bothered about, but the more pessimistic parts of me are obsessed with succeeding on the first attempt, and like to assume the false dichotomy that overnight success is the only option other than failure.
Of course, this is a load of bollocks, and success is such a subjective concept that I could consider myself a success for having an audience on my various blogs, but I don’t ever want to stop making progress, and, knowing myself, I’ll never stop trying to reach the next rung on the ladder, no matter how hard it is to reach.
I’m still writing, I’m still working, I’m still as determined as ever, but the number next to my name is about to shift, and it might take a couple more of these shifts to get me high enough up that ladder that I can see my house from there.