Husband and I have this thing where I regularly carp about my age and he gets cross with me because he’s five years older. But, my moaning isn’t like “Oh, EVERYONE who is over 26 is crap”, it’s just that this, right this second, and this second, and this second, and this second is the oldest I’ve EVER been. So, on my next birthday, when I become another year older, I’ll be even older than I am right now and I just can’t fathom how I got to this age. You get me?
Probably not, I’m not explaining myself very well. But let me put it in perspective for you. Yes, on my next birthday, I’ll only be 27, but that means that it’s 11 years since I left school, 16 years since I started secondary school, almost three years since I became a Mummy, 6 years since I left home (shut it, I was a late bloomer, plus my Mum did my washing for me!) 5 years since I got married. How did so much time pass? How have I done SO much in this time?!
When I was younger, my Mum used to say to me “I still feel the same as I did when I was 16”, and I’d think to myself “Don’t be so fucking ridonkulous, it must just be the Alzheimer’s kicking in”. But now that I’m older, I kind of know what she means. I mean, I don’t feel 16. I look back and I hate 16-year-old me. 16-year-old me’s best was an idiot. But I still kind of get it. In the last almost 11 years, my life has changed completely, the majority of my personality has changed, and I’d be willing to bet that even the cells that make me have changed on a molecular level too, but in there, I’m still me. I’ve always been me, nay, I’ve only ever been me, so of course a part of me feels the same as I did when I was 16, 10, 7…
But I suppose it’s because once you reach a certain age, and I’m not sure what age that is, or even if it is an age and not a stage of life, the rest of your life becomes a complete juxtaposition with the first part of your life. Again, not doing very well at explaining myself, am I? Well, what I mean is, when I was a kid, I was always desperate to reach the next big milestone. I couldn’t wait til I was a teenager, then I couldn’t wait to be sixteen, then 18…I vaguely remember being hugely freaked out on my 20th birthday as I was no longer a teenager, but I definitely looked forward to my 21st. And on my 22nd, I think I was quite happy to be 22 as I thought it meant I’d get taken a bit more seriously (never mind my age, I was a fucking joke, no-one was going to take me seriously). So, maybe that’s when it changed, after the age of 22, my quarter-life crisis. And it’s all been downhill from there, because everyday, and with every birthday, I creep closer to 30.
Again, it’s not that I think 30 is desperately old and over the hill, it just that I can’t work out for the life of me, who put the clock in fast motion. It took an AGE for me to get to 16, why did the rest of it decide to go so fast? I suppose really, it’s not age I’m scared of, it’s my own mortality. I still haven’t come to terms with the fact that I’m not going to live forever, and the thought that one day I’ll slip off of this mortal coil and leave everything and everyone I love behind. That thought gives me actual physical pains in my stomach. But I’m hoping that age will bring wisdom, and as I get older and accomplish more and see my daughter grow, I’ll stop being scared of this stuff.
Also, there’s the fact that I’m really not ‘with it’ anymore. I used to be quite up on popular culture. Now I have to Google stuff, just so that I know what people are on about. The other day, this real paragon of ladylike behaviour walked past me on the high street and actually shouted at some bloke that he was “well bangtidy”. I honestly had to get my phone out, then and there, for an on-the-spot translation. I should embrace my aging, as my subconcious clearly has. It feels no need to cling on to the markers of my youth, like how to effectively communicate with those around me!
So, in 20 days, I’ll be 27. I don’t know how to be 27, I’ve never been 27. Do I go out and celebrate my life by getting hugely pissed (Only, I’ll need 24 hours notice, so that I can work my medication around said getting pissed. I am just so. Achingly. Hip)* Or do I do what I had originally planned and just have a nice lunch with Hubs and Sausage at the fifties diner on the seafront that I’ve been dying to go to since my 25th birthday?
Or, and this is an idea I’ve been toying with for a while, do I go and get tattooed again?! It would be a perfect tribute, a nod to my youth as well as being a handshake with my future-self, the fact that I’m doing something that will be on me for the rest of forever, plus it’ll be an improvement on the shitty ink I have on me now, which was all done back in the days when my best was an idiot.
I think I’ve decided ;-)**
*Obviously not though, as I just used the word ‘hip’ without a hint of irony.
**Although, I may have to do both. The menu at this place looks like it was designed especially for me!