Adulthood: A Formal Complaint

This is what a twenty-six year old looks like. Kyoto, Japan, 2015
This is what a twenty-six year old looks like. Kyoto, Japan, 2015

I remember very vividly thinking on my fifth birthday that I had truly arrived at maturity. I was leaning back against a hosepipe reel in my back garden and watching my dad play with all of my other five-year-old friends on a bouncy castle. My party included cheese and pineapple sticks and free flow raspberry and orange Calypso drinks.  I felt, very surely, that I was rollin’ with the big boys. Now, at twenty-six. I think I may have been slightly premature in my thinking. In fact, I’m starting to worry that my adult certificate might never arrive at all. Here is a poem I wrote on the topic.

Emily x

Adulthood: A Formal Complaint

Dear Sir or Madam,

I write to inform you that it has been 8 years
and my manual is – annoyingly – yet to arrive.
I’ve been waiting patiently for all this time
and doing my best to keep myself alive

with Google searches and the advice of friends.
But messages are mixed and it’s hard to see
whether I’m getting the most up to date version.
It’d be nice to get a bit of clarity.

For instance:
Am I supposed to be an achievement machine?
Or living each day as though it’s my last?
‘Cause I’ve Carpe Diemed lots of wine this week
but now I can’t seem to run as fast.

– Should I count nights out or calories in?
– Is melanoma worth it for a perma-tan?
– Do I really need to worry about aspartame?
– and what am I supposed to look for in a man?!

In summary I’d be pleased if you’d get in touch
enclosing my manual A.S.A.P.

I’ll be waiting patiently (and without a fucking clue).

Your ever hopeful member,

Emily x