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Three hours from now (or, like, right now by the time I hit publish), I’ll no longer be a sprightly two-dozen years old; instead, I’ll be ENTERING MY SECOND QUARTER-CENTURY ON EARTH.
Um, excuse me what?!
From tomorrow I’ll be closer to fifty than I am to being born, which is just a wee bit of a scary thought.
No, scratch that.
It’s absolutely %$#@ing terrifying. Because, although I don’t quite remember the moment I was born (which, FYI, I’m not sad about as I’ve heard that whole giving birth and having birth given to you thing can be quite traumatic), I can remember walking through Ponty Park when I was 2 or 3 years old.
My mother always told me I didn’t remember this day, and I just remember seeing the photo when I was very young, and sort of fabricated my own memory based on the photo (the one above, in which I’m looking ciwt iawn, even if I do say so myself). And I know we shouldn’t really speak ill of the dead, but she didn’t know what she was talking about. I could, and still can, remember that day to an alarming amount of detail. I can remember scrunching the leaves under my feet and trying (but failing) to catch up with my brother (also pictured, looking significantly less cute than me) because he was older so was not restrained with one of those torture devices otherwise known as a baby harness.
The whole point of that little walk down memory lane was to stress how that was at least 22 years ago but does not feel anywhere near that length of time.. And if those 22 years can go by so fast, when I’m too young to even grasp the concept of time and memories, how quick will the next 25 go?!
Before I know it I’m going to be fifty. And it’ll be one of two ways.
I’ll either be nicely settled, sat around the dining table in some far-off (hot) land with my husband, kids and extended family singing happy birthday to me as I blow out the candles on my Colin the Caterpillar cake, before getting ready to be whisked off to some other foreign hot land for my birthday treat.
Or I’ll be that strange lady who wears too many layers and feeds the pigeons from a bench in your local park.
There’s a fine line.
If you’ve been around these parts for long, you’re probably aware by now that I’m somewhat of a drama queen and quite frequently have “OH MY GOD WHAT AM I DOING WITH MY LIFE” moments.
I promise this isn’t another.
But with that being said, 24 was an okay age. 24 is kind of like yeah, you’re still young, you’ve got plenty of time to figure this whole life thing out. You’ve got years ahead of you to decide what you want to do, where you want to go. You got this.
25, on the other hand, is a bit more in your face. 25 is scary. 25 is like having that clown from a traditional jack-in-the-box popping out at you in the mirror in the morning like HEY THERE GIRL, HOW YOU DOING? OLD, THAT’S HOW YOU’RE DOING. YOUR CROWSFEET ARE CREEPING UP ON YOU, YOU NEED TO MOISTURISE. YOUR SKIN IS TURNING TO SHIT. YOUR HAIR IS TURNING GREY. WHY ARE YOU NOT MARRIED YET? DO YOU HAVE A PLAN? WHERE IS YOUR MORTGAGE? YOU CAN’T EAT PIZZA TONIGHT. JUNK FOOD KILLS YOU, YOU’RE ONE STEP CLOSER TO THE COFFIN. YOUR METABOLISM IS SLOWING DOWN WITH AGE. WHY ARE YOU NOT MARRIED? DID I ALREADY ASK YOU THAT? I DID? OH, SOZ MY BAD. BUT WHY ARE YOU NOT MARRIED YET? WHERE ARE YOUR CHILDREN? WHAT ARE YOU DOING WITH YOUR LIFE? WHY DO YOU NOT HAVE SAVINGS? £60 IN AN ISA AND A JAR FULL OF PENNIES DOES NOT COUNT.
Me? Melodramatic? Never.
Believe it or not, though, I’m actually not freaking out about turning 25 and not being able to eat pizza and turning grey and having crap skin and being pressured into opening a real savings account by a scary bank man with a creepy moustache and tweed suit.
I’m just freaking out about time.
Because, if I didn’t mention it already, THE LAST 22 YEARS WENT BY A BIT FAST. Like, a really bit fast. Super fast, in fact.
Even the last year felt like a week.
And the whole “time moving too fast” thing has been slightly exacerbated by the fact that I’m now the same age my mother was when I was born which means that if she were alive, I’d be exactly half her age. In reality, she’s going to be 49 forever so I will never, ever be half of her age. It’s sort of a bittersweet feeling, I don’t know how to explain it. But it bothers me slightly. It bothers me that she spent longer on this earth without me than with me and now that I’m half her age, it’s official.
What started as a not very serious post – an excuse to happy birthday myself, if you will – has taken a sudden turn for the morbid, so let’s steer things back on track.
This time last year I wrote a post about 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25 and, although I can’t find that post now (I renamed it and archived it for editing but now can’t find it LOL good job me), I know that I only managed to cross one of the list.
And it was the only one I actually had no control over.
Go to a wedding. And what a gorgeous wedding it was!
But I didn’t learn to make welsh cakes or go back to India or learn to French braid my own hair or read 52 books. I didn’t throw a Harry Potter party (one day, PLEASE) and I didn’t really take more pictures of people and not things.
And that’s okay.
Because over the last year I’ve realised that life isn’t about ticking things off lists and planning for the future and doing what you think you should be doing (*cough* being responsible and not spending all your money on takeaways and iPhone games *cough*) to fit in with the norm. It’s about just… living. And being intentional about it. Slowing down to take in your surroundings, smelling the roses (or the freshly mown grass, because it smells nicer) and appreciating people — your people.
Even though time is moving way too fast for my liking, I am positively peeing myself with excitement for 25.
Happy birthday Me, let’s eat cake (and pancakes) for breakfast!