*Note: I’ve had like eight large cups of coffee in the last three hours. 

I feel like picking up heavy stuff and running.

It’s a miracle I’m not dead. 

Feel free not to take me seriously.  

Let’s begin.

I don’t understand the point of wrapping gifts. Like what the hell is the point? Why the secrecy until the receiver gets to rip it open and be amazed? Why can’t he/she just look in to a plastic bag it came in and still be amazed without having to rip stuff? I’d decided not to wrap the gifts I was giving my graduating friends. I did however enjoy getting to rip open the presents they received from other people. I guess I’m just a hypocrite who hates wrapping gifts.

I’ve actually contemplated this gift thing a while. Like why do we give gifts on occasions? Birthdays. Weddings. Why is a gift necessary when those people are already happy or whatever? Why don’t we give gifts to sad people to make them feel better? Why aren’t gifts given on like normal Tuesdays because you felt like your good buddy deserved it? Why are you a weirdo if you do that? Why will your very, very platonic friend suddenly think that you want to marry him…

I might be a serious target of the Peter Pan syndrome. Getting old scares the hell outta me. When I realized that some of my friends were graduating, it made think of the boxes. You know the boxes like you’re born, you’re potty trained, you go to school, you graduate and now the next box that many of my friends are looking at is marriage. I mentioned this to some of them and they laughed at me because they want me to think that marriage is the last thing on their minds but their parents agree with me and I just know that the invitations are going to start coming in soon.

That’s another thing that I’ve noticed lately. How now invitations are lettered to me directly. Before, the lettering on an invitation would have the family name. My overthinking theme this past week has been how freaking old I’m getting. I’d be reading something for teenagers and feel like I’m a part of that demographic. Then suddenly I’d realize that I’m actually in my early twenties and that I’m supposedly more mature. I’d see actual teenagers and notice how freaking young they look. I’d look at my peers and notice receding hairlines and that look of established fearlessness like they’re sitting with their sleeves rolled to take on life and responsibilities. While seriously immature, their humor is profound sometimes and they know how to talk to the older generation and impress. When caught at the right time, they are capable of holding serious, reflective conversations about real things that matter and make a difference.

Growing up entails certain freedoms. Now I can refuse to eat or attend events. If I insisted on walking from Mekelle to Addis, my family probably won’t get to protest too much as long as they don’t have to pay for anything. One would think that the freedom I’m looking down right now is something awesome. It’s definitely something I was looking forward to at 15 or something but now that I’m here, I’m hella confused. It’s a scary thing to realize that at this point I am completely accountable for all the decisions I make and that soon I might have to start to worry about things like bills and saving. I could be turning off lights so I won’t run up the electricity bill or checking several times if the doors are locked so I won’t get murdered in my sleep. I’ve seen adults do that. How will we be so different?

I might be crazy but it bothers me how much people around me are so comfortable with the boxes. Where is the individuality? I visualize a long line of people just walking to that ultimate demise, checking boxes on their way there, moving rhythmically to that Gorrilaz song “It’s comin’ on. It’s comin’ on.” I’d be standing in a taxi line and I’d get a tiny and visible anxiety fit.

A search for purpose is probably the central quest of my youth. I doubt I’m the only one. I don’t think I’d be surprised if I find that we have none but I think it would still kill me.
Photograph: Abrish Hailemariam 

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