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Adulting - Part I

Adulting is a non-fiction series by Daisy Bignell where she explores the daily joys, troubles, and all the in-betweens of adult life.

Artwork by Sophie Hao for Healthline Zine.

At 06:28 GMT, I lay awake, attempting to detangle the pretty words in my brain that will orchestrate a poem. I twiddled my fingers as my partner sleeps soundly, whilst his deep breaths affix a melody to the words inside my head.

I know I shouldn’t be thinking of pretty words with pretty meanings or pretty books with pretty covers, but what else can I do to endure this ‘adulthood’?

I make my way through my dimly lit hallway to the kitchen to make a cup of tea. As it brews in the morning sunlight, I hope perhaps it is today where I will have that B-I-G realisation moment, that happens in all the 90s romcoms. Or at least, today will be the day where I truly admit that that moment does not happen.

I read Things We Do Not Tell The People We Love, by Qureshi, on the sofa with tears streaming down my face. The culprit was Firecracker.

The first time I met my best friend, she beamed, as if the sun had confessed love to the moon. Her love language was a strong cup of tea (with sugar), and a cake she would quickly bake. There was that time where I lived with you for a while. Those memories I replay in my head.

It is 11:07am on a Saturday morning. I’m waiting on a Facetime call from her.

This is a by-monthly occurrence. We take one to two hours each month for ourselves. For we want to live in a different world, maybe where driving exams and council tax don’t exist. Where the only currency is how many smiles you have gifted to strangers.

Since University our lives have taken a different turn. Not different in a comparatively better way, just different, so we keep in touch this way. Although, sometimes you remind me of how you are becoming a stranger when you mention names that I do not know, and I begin to feel translucent.

On our calls, we reminisce and romanticise our lives at University. We used to find a life in between the rows of books in the library, where we could abandon existential dread, and could just experience eudaimonia, even as a short soliloquy. Within this space of closeness I knew I could take solace in the fact that I would always exist in that moment, at one point in time.

But, at this very different point in time - named ‘reality’ - I sit on my sofa, eating porridge while the dial tone runs weary and the silence beckons.

Our friendship is fading like interrupted frequencies from those old fashioned radios.

I’m sure you were busy; maybe going food shopping, picking up a parcel or meeting your other friends for brunch. I tell myself you were busy, an emergency, that kept you. Today I continued to whisper to myself they needed you; adulting needed you.


Daisy Bignell is an aspiring poet, born in Surrey and raised in a small village. Having just finished her Masters degree in English Literature, from the University of Winchester. She is now taking time to focus exclusively on her writing. Her works have previously been published in literary magazines, most recently in the winter edition of 'Scribbles.' When she isn't writing and reading, she is playing with her family dog, Crumble.

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