Planned, written and edited with a thirty minute time limit using the word 'youth' as inspiration As I have moved into my adult years I have felt the stresses that come with ‘adult life’. Uncertainties about my employment, housing and my health have moved somewhat insidiously into the forefront of my mind. I have often found myself becoming fixated on these things and yearning for the return of simpler times.

Things seemed easier as a child. I had it easier than most. Food was an assurance, shelter permanent, and safety a guarantee. I lived much of my youth in naivety of the realities of real life. I would wake up in the morning before school, eat a breakfast that was lovingly cooked for me, then make my way across the road to the primary school. School was mostly a series of menial tasks and pointless assessments that in hindsight were likely aimed at distracting us for long enough as such that any conflict between the students would be delayed until after the ring of final bell. I would spend time with my friends playing sport until the sun went down, then return home for yet another lovingly cooked meal. There were very few stresses.

Now, when times are tough, I find myself jealous of my naive younger self. Work is becoming forever more and more intrusive and my hobbies are pushed into the back seat. Life is only becoming more and more expensive requiring even more time to be spent at work. Whilst I still feel healthy, I am noticing aches and breaks that weren’t present in years gone by, I’m told things are only going to get worse. If only I could, if just for a few fleeting moments return to those days where things were easier. Only for a day though.

Whilst these stresses are very real, they constitute but one part of the experience. The yin and yang. Having a job means you have responsibility with that comes immense personal satisfaction. Whilst I yearn for the return of those simple days, I really do love my life at the moment. I have the freedom to do as I want when I want. The unparalleled liberty that comes with the independence of adult life is truly something that isn’t celebrated enough. I am certain that if I were to return to my youth and experience it through the understanding and value set I have built up over my life I would not perceive it as positively as I might expect.

Things were easier as a child; simpler. But as an adult the complexities and demand that constitute life are what give it purpose. They are the essence of what leads one to live a fulfilling life. Whilst I often feel a melancholic sense of nostalgia and a desire to reinsert myself into a life long gone, I am certain that doing so would open my eyes to many of the same problems I experience now, only hidden behind a thin veil of innocence.