I guess it’s a different age for everyone, when you suddenly have a short, sharp shock as you come to grips very clearly with your own mortality.
DRAMA BOMB. But it’s a well-known fact that many people do not like age; in noun form and especially not in verb form (whisper: ‘aging’. Doesn’t it make you think of shrivelling edges and greying skin?)
Up until recently I kind of thought I was immune to giving a shit about how many candles are on the cake. I enjoy living each marker of my existence! I thought. I will thoroughly and readily enjoy each one and the gifts it brings, both literal and figurative.
I lived through my early years knowing friends-of-mums and mums-of-friends (yeah, mostly female) who giggled about being “39…again!” over a shopping centre coffee, and classmates doggedly drilling teachers to find out how OLD they are. And then as I started university, I was incredibly sad for friends who hated birthdays and didn’t want to celebrate or acknowledge the day. They grew tearful if we teased them about it. Because, I reasoned, I understand being upset when you turn 50, or a BIG number, but our age is not a sad age. It’s a low number, it’s a happy age. Early twenties, woo!
Ugh. I actually knew when I should be sad about aging because I knew that there was a certain number that was no longer good. I kind of despise myself and my socially conditioned thinking patterns.
But moving on. I recently, under my duvet, did some mental arithmetic of the variety that works out that you are on the wrong side of the hill. When you sit and rationalise that to be on one side of a halfway point, but to be on the other side means that you have basically hit the milestone already and are UNDENIABLY an adult (up until now, you knew you could get away with not really understanding taxes and what APR is).
It was very crystalizing; because you suddenly very much understand that all adults are twenty-somethings without the twenty-something bodies, and less of the arrogant, ignorance-is-bliss attitude. And now you are among them, and much like all life, it wasn’t what you expected.
It all sounds a bit much really, and far too heavy for this kind of blog. Ah well. We all age, and ideally we should all stop being snobs/scared about it. So that’s my lazy summary: que sera, sera.