I took my co-op out for lunch today. A get to know her.
She’s 19. Never been drunk and hasn’t been to a bar yet. Tries to get jobs that keep her close to home. Helps her parents and friends out on the weekends. Jogs at 5 o’clock in the morning. Says she feels like she’s coming upon “the rest of her life” but is enjoying the time before that happens. She loves her life.
I couldn’t help comparing my 19 to hers. I was afraid to speak lest I sully her. Where was I then? Well, started university, sure. So many drunken nights and pass-outs by then, I wouldn’t be able to count them. Couldn’t get far enough away from my family or from other people left behind. Scared shitless that the rest of my life was gonna be what was happening then.
Her innocent joy seems unreal, like I’m interviewing a storybook character that is going to go do crack in the washroom afterward, or get attacked by a stranger one night. Like some life happening is gonna take it all away.
And so I feel protective, and amazed and wish fervently that she stays in her bubble, while I keep my voice of experience to myself.