A good decision is based on knowledge and not on numbers. – Plato

I suppose you could say I’m a late bloomer in many aspects.

My reading skills are efficient, but slow. I had my first period long after all the other girls in my class, also, my body stayed as that of a child while my friends began to look more and more like women. At eighteen, I am still a virgin. I was the smallest in my class until my very late growth spurt and I didn’t start using make-up until I was about fourteen. I still haven’t done anything to receive my driver’s permit and I still don’t know what to do later on.

I’ve decided to take driving lessons when I’ve finished school, so a year from now. I’m in no particular hurry because I know what a train is and I can ride a bike. Also, I would never be able to use our car anyway because I am the youngest. My dear friend who may or may not read this post is convinced it’s an excuse because I can’t be bothered. She may think what she likes, but honestly getting my permit is just too stressful right now. Next year I will be taking my final exams, also I just got a new job.

I took up this post today because on my first day of school I was reminded once again how important it is to some people that you get everything done as soon as the law allows it. At sixteen and a half (don’t know who came up with that figure) you can start doing your permit, then drive until you’re eighteen with someone in the passenger seat who is over thirty years old, so basically you still have to ask your mum or dad when you need the car, because they will have to accompany you.

From sixteen you can have sex with – well, anyone. What was wrong and called sexual abuse in one year is absolutely fine in the next.

Also from sixteen you can buy beer, from eighteen you can have everything else.

Ah – actually I was wrong about people doing something as soon as the law allows it. A lot of people drink long before their legal time.

Just like fifteen year-olds have sex with eighteen-year-olds and fifteen year-olds take pre-driving school driving lessons on some parking area with their parents.

I did not do any of that (except for some minor drinking experiments I later decided were stupid). All of my friends and foes have a driver’s licence at seventeen, they’ve all lost their virginity and some of them are already pros on high volume alcohol. They are the norm. What does that make me?

If there was not the outside world, I would not feel the pressure of getting on with it – getting on with a lot of things.

What is with this obsession to get everything done as soon as possible. It’s like when you’re a particular age, you’re in the green area, but two years later you’re in the red. People hold on to numbers to measure progress, to compare themselves to others, to be able to say: “I was faster, I was there first.”

Just because somebody told you it’s important to get your driver’s license as soon as humanly possible, doesn’t me it’s important and a good idea for you.

We even finish school a year earlier, because they cut out tenth grade. Therefore we spent last year covering the subject material for two years in one.

I don’t want to get it over with all at once. What are we rushing for anyway? I’ll lose my virginity, get a car and a permit, try every legal drug there is – and what then? Then life starts? Then I get a job, get married (another thing people seem to want to get it over with), have kids and work until you die? Nothing exciting happens because you’ve done everything already. We’ll all be the same, driver’s permit at seventeen, sex at sixteen, biggest hangover at sixteen – BAM! Just because I’m legally old enough to do something, doesn’t mean I am personally, physically and mentally. Numbers are not as important as we may think.

You’re as old as you feel and if you feel like a twelve-year old, don’t do anything a twenty-year old would do.


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