There’s a cliche going around on the Internet, things like ‘I Speak Fandom/Hipster/Gallifreyan/Elvish’ etc. Building off that, I think I’ll take the liberty to add some personal observations of my own:
As well as Fandom, I speak, to my level of learning: spanish, biology, chemistry, sociology, mythology, literature, art and some forms of technobabble…
I have also found that I can speak travel enthusiast, mature light conversationalist, teenager and 5 year old child. 😛
I can speak calculatingly, flirtatiously, quietly, brashly, argumentatively, wisely, considerately, engagingly, with a large variety of people from very many walks of life.
And yet, somehow I barely understand australian.
My hindi is better than my bogan.
And I do not speak gossip-girl
I have a very hard time speaking in a way which suggests a lack of interest, curiosity or ambition in life, and in that find some of my fellow classmates very difficult to connect with beyond the lightest layers of conversation.
It’s odd, to see what a difference escaping your environment can make. When I look around my classroom, there are those who stand out and those who do not – but alternatively, there are those who speak with maturity and those who do not. Indeed, it must be recognised that this is an environment where being hilarious, liked or admired > being mature or responsible. But even so, looking around and seeing so many small people, some who barely know how to think, barely seem to go beyond the caricatures they have been placed in, making the general remarks expected, trying only as hard as expected, being interested where expected…
I am probably being judgemental in forming these opinions. I barely know the majority of the people who surround me each day at school, not to a depth where I can understand them. But, even so I cannot help wondering, how they will be one day; when life has taken them through more, after they had to harden, be stronger, think with reason and sensibility. I find myself looking forward to seeing them at a reunion in 5-10 years, hearing their stories as they matured and developed and stabilised and struggled and succeeded and settled. Because, despite being in the last years at those school, with those who are soon to be called Adults, I only look around and my mind screams ‘Babies! All of them!’
Am I a baby too? Possibly. Probably. They all will have experienced things I have not, just as I have learnt things they have never had the chance to. But that being said, I can count on one hand the students in my year who I know are like me; those who have learnt to live with the protective wing of their family far away, and they do have a distinct air to those otherwise.
Living alone changes you. Facing the unknown without support hardens you. Growing up will always challenge you, and just because you can legally vote now does not say, in a million years, that you are in any way prepared for what’s coming next. And do you know what? That’s okay! Because we’re all gonna keep adapting too.