Becoming an "adult"
As I sat on my laptop, applying for allowances through Centrelink whilst simultaneously looking through bank account options, it suddenly dawned on me that I’m entering the adult world.
I now understand why people whinge about Centrelink after having spent hours on the phone with them and filling out an application that took well over the estimated 30 minutes. I understand why people get annoyed at the banks and their convoluted details, because nothing is simple when it’s run by the government or the banks.
This understanding dawned on me when I’d confirmed for the third time, that no, I do not have a live-in partner or children, and no, I’m not Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander. STOP ASKING.
But this new world isn’t just about governments and banks, turning 18 means that I leave my team at the children’s hospital, and I’m not sure I’m ready yet.
It’s said that when you share a life changing experience with someone, a connection is established. Strangely enough, I’m finding myself a little saddened that I’ve seen my endocrinologist for the last time. I’m sad that I won’t get to walk in to clinic and speak to the educators and dietitians I’ve known for the past (almost) four years, those same people that taught me how to live with my diabetes. I like the familiarity, the bright colours, the knowledge that I can get help whenever my levels aren’t behaving themselves, or when Dobby has a crisis.
They’re my safety net, and I grew to value them as people and to trust them completely.
But I need to move on to a new clinic, the young adult clinic which will begin next year. I’ve apparently been placed in trustworthy hands, my new doctor a leader in her field just like my current one. Here I’ll learn how to manage my diabetes with more independence, before I move on completely to the adult system once I turn 25.
So now I’m waiting on a Centrelink confirmation, bank information, HSC results and my transition to the young adult clinic is in progress.
I’m legally an adult soon, but I don’t think there’s a magic age where you suddenly know what you’re doing, or feel ready to take on the world completely, but it’s time to take that first step.