I am one step closer to achieving the lifestyle I am after. Just like Carrie Bradshaw, I have a signature cocktail. She drinks cosmopolitans; I have taken an affinity to ginger dawa. It contains ginger, lemon, vodka and honey. There’s nothing that screams sophistication quite like having a favourite brew. Be it busaa or a Bikini cocktail, there’s not much else that can quite signify that transition into adulthood.
But is adulthood everything it’s cracked out to be? Beyond the simple joys of buying cigarettes and booze without being asked for an ID, what makes being an adult so great? Beyond being able to understand sarcasm better and having a driver’s licence, what else is there?
Being an adult is exhausting. When you aren’t working there is always something or someone else demanding your time and attention. Sleep has become a luxury I last enjoyed during boring lectures in college. You barely have time to enjoy the money you earn because most of it has a duty to attend to. Bills, your hair, clothes, food, manicures, clothes, fare and whatever other sundry expense that crops up.
I miss being a child. I miss looking forward to holidays. There was a time when my biggest concern was impressing Sarah, prettiest girl in my class, by sincerely flattering her. I made my hair like hers. I got my parents to buy me stationary exactly like hers. The imitation didn’t get me anywhere. She ended up being more of an arch nemesis. To this day I still don’t get what that bitch’s problem was. Although the vanity of a nine year old isn’t as complex as the fact that I have to learn how to balance my accounts better so as to be able to afford cocktails more often.
I had a lot of time to kill when I was younger. It’s a shame I have no powers to resurrect it now that I am older. I could also play like an overactive monkey hooked on speed. I used to be light on my feet. I could swing from trees and monkey bars with the best of them. My agility hasn’t been compromised in my old age by my voluptuousness but I have a feeling I would lose every last ounce of dignity I own running around like my six year old sister. My hips would probably get stuck down the slides and I would freak out if I broke my nails losing my grip from the monkey bars. Yes. I am speaking from experience- drunken experience.
Even romance was easier when we were young. My most significant crush was called Nduthu. All I cared about was that I could make him laugh and that he couldn’t care for the attentions of other girls in our class. He had this special dimple in his chin that would come out when he smiled shyly. I used to believe it was only for me. I transferred out of that school without ever confirming that. And I will forever continue to believe I was the sole dimple-causer in that class.
Some of my greatest memories resulted back then from the fact that I didn’t have to be concerned with responsibilities. I didn’t care about budgets, quotas, designated drivers or appointments. I didn’t have a cell phone or an email address. At that point Myspace was something I only heard about in the television.
I remember once going to the spectator stage for the WRC Safari Rally in Isinya. My father was driving and my aunt was the babysitter, logistician, shopper et cetera. All I did was have fun staring at the rolling Ngong hills and scraping gum off my sunglasses. I wasn’t an expert at blowing gum bubbles. Maybe that is another perk of being a grown up.
I would like to thank the younger me for all the memories, the lessons and epiphanies; for all the mistakes, injuries and heartbreaks. Even when I collapse in my bed every evening after a tiring day, I am grateful that while my early twenties are chock full of attempts to avoid future brokeness or turning into a shrew, my childhood was one that was fun and fulfilling. I did everything a kid is supposed to do. And right after discovering my favourite cocktail, I’ll eventually achieve everything a sophisticated, successful grown woman can possibly accomplish. If you are satisfied with your childhood, raise your cocktail glass and toast to mini-you.