Saturday, June 27, 2009

Home's face: how it ages when you're away

I am thirty-two years old. My last relationship broke up because I wasn't twenty-seven instead*. Shame. It hit me quite hard afterwards that actually, I am never going to be twenty-seven again; and that I'm only going to get older from here on in - what sort of a stupid system is that?! Time is annoyingly, rigidly, out-datedly linear; like analogue television. As a child who came of age during the digital revolution (I'm a paid-up member of the "On Demand" generation), having to conform to a linear schedule that proceeds in a ruler-straight line from birth to death just doesn't do it for me.

But there it is: I am never going to be twenty-seven again.

Or, to put it another way: this is as young and as free as I'll ever be.

That simple statement of truth can be an uplifting affirmation or a despairing lament, depending on my mood.

Some days I am so grateful for the incredible freedoms I enjoy - the freedom to work (even though it doesn't always feel like a "freedom", I never forget that it is a hard-won privilege), the freedom to be independent; to travel; to earn money and buy things that make my life comfortable and enjoyable. The freedom to choose a partner (and the freedom to reject inappropriate ones). The freedom to wear colourful sundresses - or indeed, whatever I choose. The incredible freedom of having time that is my own and the freedom to do whatever I like with it; which I never take for granted (even though I waste a lot of it lolling about doing bugger all).

The freedom to ride a bike.

The freedom to sunbathe.

The freedom to walk around a city by myself.

The freedom to drive along the coast (although it's been a long time since I took advantage of this one).

The freedom to listen to my favourite music.

The freedom to explore the internet.

...and other days, I just wish I was twenty-seven again.

*I hasten to add that it wasn't a case of my ex wanting to trade me in for a younger model - shame on you for thinking I would waste my time on that kind of guy! - it's just that we are at very different stages in our lives and couldn't reconcile the gap.


Anna said...

I hear you. I had my 30th a couple of weeks ago. My dad got me a birthday card that said on the front "Remember, this is as old as you've ever been". Then on the inside it continued "But it's the youngest you'll ever be again". THEN, on the back it said "But they're all just numbers".

But, for me at least, you're 22, floating through life, young, thin, the world is your oyster, then suddenly BAM your 30th rolls around and everyone else at the pub looks like a child and you're wondering what happened.

But it's not so bad. You raise some incredibly good points.

Anastasia said...

I hear you, sister! I'm 4 months shy of my 31st birthday, and all I want to do right now is travel the world and have the adventures that I didn't have in my fairly sensible 20s. Sometimes I feel like I'm living my life backwards!

Meanwhile, everyone around me is getting married, buying houses, having kids...

But I keep discovering wonderful people like yourself, who are not settling for settling (if you know what I mean) and are celebrating being grown-up AND having freedom. Still, it ain't always a bed of roses, hey?!

I'm really enjoying reading your blog, and am looking forward to visiting London myself from the Antipodes soon :)

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