I hate to use the ‘J’ word, but growing up is a journey — and a difficult one at that. With the carefree fun of being a kid, also comes the more trying task of navigating through the complexities of childhood and adolescence. Friendships, relationships, family, body image, confidence, parties, popularity…this all-too-familiar list continues.
Hunter Markets is the second-hand thrift market based in Mentone, Melbourne that has spread like wildfire on social media. On brisk Sunday mornings, you’ll find a long line of coffee-clutching zoomers snaking around the market’s fairy-floss-pink brick walls, all waiting to get their thrift on.
Similar to the sea, life is unpredictable. Sometimes the water is clear enough that we’re able to feel comfort amongst its deep blue calmness. Other times, the waves become too choppy and the water too murky for us to see clearly through the storm.
For some unbeknownst reason, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon my long-term partner at the age of 16. Young, naive, and desperate for that Wattpad fanfic-like love story, it only took us a few dates to couple up, and only a month or so to say that L-word. Four years later, at the good old age of 20, my boyfriend and I are still going strong.
From the outside, the path to any kind of success, growth, or progress takes one of two routes. We see growth as scraping through the rubble. We see it as the might it takes to overcome setbacks and dig through the lowest of lows to get to the peaks. Or, we see it from the “started from the bottom now we’re here” perspective.
Childhood. A blissful, almost utopian time in nearly everybody’s life, defined by happiness, purity and obliviousness. A time sprinkled with the belief that anything is possible, allowing us to swim in the wild and ornate potion of our imagination. We were assured that we could do anything that we set our minds to, and we embodied this mantra in every response to “what do you want to do when you grow up?”.
The year I kissed high school goodbye, I immediately felt eager for the next chapter of my life — officially entering adulthood! The thought of turning 18 was nerve-racking but equally exciting. New opportunities were on the horizon, or so I thought…