I dreaded my twentieth birthday not because I feared losing the whimsy of my youth, but because I found the very prospect of living through another sixty-four years absolutely agonizing. I had done my research on the average lifespan of a Canadian woman; I needed to know just what I was getting myself in to.
With only about four more months left in my nineteenth year, I found myself pressed up against one of the many walls in Grand Central Station, watching masses of people exit the doors of the main hall out onto the street, while they made their way down into the subway below street level. Sheep, I thought to myself in horror. They are all sheep being shepherded by societal norms and expectations and I am one of them.
It took everything within me to draw life back into my lungs from the polluted but cool mid-April New York City air and force my way down into the subway to make it to my class on time. Unfortunately for me, this was only the first of several major signs that I was entering into the eye of the storm of what we call ‘adulthood’, that that day in the Herd of Society was merely the beginning of a long, terrifying, but eventually rewarding journey of My Life. It’s one that we have no choice but to go with: we don’t choose life, don’t get to necessarily set our lives on the path of major success if we don’t have the means to get there throughout our upbringing. We are formed by our past, by our parents’ past, by their parents’ past. We are the fruit of other people’s history.
I don’t know if I’m okay with that.
But I guess I don’t really have a choice, do I?