There is an all-consuming cage surrounding my chest that loses a link and tightens with each day.
With each day that passes, a link disappears with a clink of:
But what if you die early? Having achieved nothing? In a freak accident? Terror incident? Traumatic choking on a pepperoni pizza as karma for cheating on Veganism?
But what if your relationship ends? Out of boredom? Sameness? Cheating? Their death from a traumatic choking on a pepperoni pizza as YOUR karma for cheating on veganism?
But what if you don’t see the whole world? If there are pots of chana masala being cooked on a non-descript Delhi street you will never set foot on? A gentleman of 80, in a remote Scottish highland pub, whose stories of ceilidhs and Nessies you will never hear?
And what if you don’t have children? If you never see a face that is half of yours? A baby’s head that is supposed to be smelled, nuzzled and cherished never forces its way out of your vagina?
But what if you do? And you hate them? What if they grow up Tories or fans of Mrs Brown Boys? The string tying your relationship together in the name of ‘doing it for the kids’ becomes unravelable?
As a child, adulthood was something to aspire to.
Of cooking potato smilies on a Wednesday at 4pm. To have your own money to save for a mortgage (lol spend at Be At One on BOGOF Brambles). Sex. Travel. Love. Bills. Brunches.
As a bright eyed and bushy tailed bub, adulthood was full of possibilities, adventures, opportunities, inevitable successes and great big loves – with friends, family, fellas and fyourself.
As a kid, you only ever need to look down. On those growing older at a slower rate. At your new kicks. Your toys. It’s manageable. The world is small.
As an adult, merely looking up is awe-inspiring. Buildings you’ll never work in. Eyes meeting people you’ll never know. Skies covering countries you’ll never see. It’s insurmountable. The world is huge.
Even when it comes to seemingly mundane decisions, as an adult you understand that the possible repercussions could be disastrous and THAT is overwhelmingly huge.
Like whether 4 onion rings for dinner (instead of 8) will leave you hungry and craving further carbs thus needing to cook again later that evening.
Like using your spare £20 that week to see Fifty Shades instead of Black Panther and immediately feeling less fulfilled.
Like deciding on going for a scandi/70s vibe for your living room decor and praying that the Autumn trend isn’t suddenly Japanese florals.
Making decisions whether to have kids, get married, move out, decorate your living room or even what to cook that evening can be monumental and are certainly life changing (hey, have YOU ever forgotten to bake a garlic bread you were looking forward to?) so we need to build up a certain amount of resilience so that if we fuck these decisions up, the feeling won’t completely swallow us. So here are a few tips…
Do What You Want
Not what others should say you want. If you don’t want kids right now, don’t worry and question incessantly over whether you should have them.
If you don’t want to cook this evening but you worry your Insta Stories has been filled with takeaways that week and people will judge you for your 17th Dominos, just get on Deliveroo.
If you make every decision with conviction and without (too much) concern to the what ifs, those decisions will seem smaller and less significant.
Remember Your Childhood
Where you lived with a certain freedom and wild abandon. Where you did stuff, went places and uttered things without a care for the consequences.
Obviously don’t be so unfiltered and unworried that you start being a bit of a dick but a bit of nonchalance can be quite freeing.
Decorate The Bloody Living Room
Yes, the world may seem huge and the decisions you have to make seem even huger but you only live once and the biggest beauty about being overwhelmingly adult? Is that every decision that turns into a mistake, eventually turns into a lesson. Normally a good one at that.