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‘Today, I drove through the suburbs and pictured I was driving home to you…’

‘Today, I drove through the suburbs and pictured I was driving home to you…’

It’s been a while since I checked the latest ‘Top 50 Billboard’ playlist on Youtube but a few months ago, I found another amazing Filipino-American singer topping the charts- ‘Olivia Rodrigo’. Her biggest hit ‘Driver’s License’ is such a great song that when I first heard it, I knew I needed to add it to my ‘Favourites’ playlist. I think that all the songs in her album ‘SOUR’ are all so relatable (no matter which generation you belong to). The first time I listened to the full album, I thought about all my sweet, bitter, salty and sour memories back when I was Olivia’s age and first got my driver’s license.

I still remember the day I passed my driving test. I was so excited and happy but I pranked my mom and told her I failed. When I drove my car on my own for the first time, I was a little nervous so I only drove around the suburbs for the first few days. I didn’t want to go on the main roads and the motorway. I was a teenager but I felt like a grown up. When I was in my teens, all I wanted was to turn 30 so that I could enjoy ‘grown up’ things, but now that I’m a grown up, it’s weird how, sometimes, I feel like, I want to be a teenager again.

I find it so funny when I see posts by Buzzfeed pitting Millenials and Gen Z’s against each other. I didn’t even realise that there was this generational war happening- or is there really? Like any Millenial though, I kinda feel a little annoyed that Boomers…

anyway, let’s not go into that…

Maybe it’s just Buzzfeed’s writers who want to create this divide between generations? I went to Urban Outfitters the other day and somehow, I did feel a little out of place. I can still pull off majority of the styles they have (I actually bought a couple of cute dresses) but, I must admit, there were some items which made me stop and think, ‘Okay, this is definitely for a teenager. I must put this back on the rack.’

I met a lovely young woman recently and we just clicked straight away and became class buddies. As we talked and got to know each other, she couldn’t believe that I’m ten years older than her. When I told her my age, she kept saying, ‘No way?’. She kept asking me if I was telling the truth and because she thought I was joking, I had to show her my driving license to prove my age.

As a proud ‘Millenial’, I love Gen Z’s. In fact, the reason why I believe there shouldn’t be this generational divide between us is because, apart from the superficial things like, clothing styles and lifestyle trends, I think that there really isn’t much difference between our generations. We’re all humans and we all share the same feelings and emotions. I can still remember what it’s like to be young, naïve and clueless. I’m pretty sure that many adults secretly feel young at heart but because adults are expected to act all serious and have it all figured out, we have to pretend we know it all even though, really, we’re still trying to figure things out just like Gen Z’s. Sometimes, I catch myself saying things like, ‘Kids nowadays don’t know what it’s like…‘ and then I feel like the only things missing in my life are- a recliner chair, a walking stick and reading glasses. I’m older and wiser for sure. I’m definitely not the same person I was back when I was 16 but I know that there are still so many things I need to learn. Life is all about ‘learning something new everyday’ after all…

There are days when all I want to do is drive my car aimlessly for hours just like I did when I first got my driver’s license. The other night, I drove around suburbs in my new car but unlike Olivia, I didn’t picture driving home to anyone. I didn’t actually want to go home. I just wanted to drive all night so I can have some space to think (Although, I’m starting to think that I think too much so maybe I should plan a trip to Tibet to isolate and join the monks for a meditation session.)

I drove for 2 hours with no specific destination in mind and I missed my old car so much. I remember the first time I got Bingo, my Ford KA. I just got back from a 3 month long vacation in 2011 and I decided to get a new car. I found Bingo one morning and when the salesman said, ‘This one’s only got 15,000…’ , I didn’t even let him do any sales talk. I just said, ‘I love it. I’ll have this one.’ That must have been the easiest sales transaction for him- ever. I called my car ‘Bingo’ because the dash vents were all round… so it kind of made sense to me to call him Bingo- after bingo balls. I had Bingo for more than a decade and it was the best car ever. I was sad when I drove Bingo for the last time. I cried when the folks from the scrap yard took my car away. My colleagues told me to get over it and enjoy my new car. I still remember the first time I damaged Bingo. I hit a gate (within the first month) and I dented the left side of the car. I paid £450 to have it repaired. Sometimes, ‘Things come full circle’ they say, and believe it or not, just a couple of weeks before I got my new car, I accidentally hit a gate again and I dented the same spot. No kidding.

Even now that I’ve upgraded to a much better and bigger car, I still miss Bingo a lot. I didn’t want to let that car go so I put off getting a new car for years. Thinking about it now, maybe it’s not my old car that I really miss, but more the memories I made while driving it. It’s funny how, even though I can afford to eat in fancy restaurants, I still prefer drive thrus and eating junk food in my car. It’s crazy how, even though I have modern technology in my new car like Apple Carplay, I still prefer playing my old CDs. It’s always the simple things that make me happy. I don’t really need fancy things to enjoy life. I look at some young people and think, even though they don’t have the spending power we, adults have, they seem to enjoy life more. I guess, it’s because they don’t have bills to pay and well, they’re young and they have adults to take care of the serious life stuff for them… but I think, somewhere along the way, as we got older, society has made us believe that in order to be taken seriously, we have to kill all the fun in everything and stop playing and you know how the saying goes right? – We grow old when we stop playing…

I still feel young at heart so I can actually attest to the ‘Age is nothing but a number’ adage. I still play pranks on people, eat cotton candy and marshmallows while watching funny ‘Regrets and Fails’ Youtube videos and I still don’t take myself or life seriously sometimes. I should probably spend more time planning my future but since a lot of the plans I made when I was in my 20’s didn’t work out, I just want to go with the flow for now. I can be my mature and grown up self when I want and need to but, I want to keep the good childish part of me alive. I don’t want to ever lose that part of myself because I don’t want to lose my zest for life.

So… after my two hour drive through the suburbs, on my way home, I went to McDonald’s. When I parked up, I suddenly recalled the funny (not so funny at the time) moment when my friend hit a car at the very same McDonald’s car park on the day she got her driver’s license. I had to act as the mediator to calm the situation down and luckily, no one was hurt.

I was checking out the menu… then I thought…

I’m going to order my all time favourite combo…

I ordered some fries and dipped them in my milkshake just like I used to do back when I was a teenager…

I sat back and smiled…

then I thought,

This… this is what life is all about…

Then when I got home at midnight, I made myself a Coke Float…

and because I’m a responsible adult, I had no one telling me I can’t have a sugary drink before bedtime.

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