Perspectives on getting old(er)

Old young Source

Most of my ideas for blog posts are inspired by conversations I have or by things I observe. This one started to grow after I talked to a friend on the phone yesterday. I met her when I was 24 and now I am…. older! I will be 37 next week and HOW THE HELL DID THAT HAPPEN SO FAST??? We are both kind of shocked about the fact that we are now rather middle-aged than rather young! So this blog post today is dedicated to my friend Angelika, whose name is totally not Angelika but she will know that I mean her 🙂

When you’re a child, “five years from now” is a loooooooooong time. And “five years ago” was like a century! Remember how long your six weeks of Summer holidays were?  And how you couldn’t wait for your next birthday so you’d finally be older? How you could not wait to be 18 even and get your driving license and have all the freedom in the world? Do you remember when that elated anticipation changed? I do.

I was to turn 26 and the thought was horrible. 26!!! It was more into the 30 than into the 20! Looking back it makes me laugh, but I remember the feeling. People in their 30s were so incredibly grown-up and… old. There were things I was looking forward to when being so… old: to finally understand life, make a shitload of money, have a steady job and get rid of PMS. That’s right. But I would never turn into one of them: I would ALWAYS spend my weekends dancing in clubs, and staying awake until early morning. I would still socialise all the time. I would still dress in black at all times. My friendships would remain and, most importantly: I would never get settled – getting settled is so square!

And here I am, more than a decade later. Let’s see how getting older turned out. Kids, cock your ears, uhm, eyes!

  • I still do not understand life! But I am certainly more at ease with things. I have experienced loss and still do not understand why. But I have learned that “Why?” never gets you anywhere. Quite contrary, it restrains you. If you put yourself into the “why?”-loop you will get stuck. Some things are just there to accept. And you’ll learn from any bad experience (Man, how I used to hate when grown-ups told me this!).
  • I do not make a shitload of money. And if that had really been my goal I would not have chosen the field of study that I did choose. I am not a career person at all, and all I want is enough money to keep me from worrying and have a good life.
  • I do not have a steady job. In fact, I do not have any job at the moment. When I chose my field of study I had no idea how bad the job market would be. And it sucks, to say the least. I know I will find something but until then I will worry and stress.
  • I have not gotten rid of PMS. ‘Nuff said!
  • I am not spending my weekends in dancing clubs and staying awake until early mornings. I still like to dance, mind you, but I have developed a certain dislike for clubs. Been there, done that and all (I repeat: man, how I used to hate when grown-ups told me this!). I prefer to sit with people and talk. And the few time that I do actually stay awake until the morning, I enjoy it at the time and still feel the pain two days later 🙂
  • I am not socialising all the time. In fact, I need a lot of time to myself! I prefer a healthy mix of both. I enjoy being around people and I am perfectly fine and in need of having some me-time!
  • I am not dressing in black at all times. I am much happier than that! I don’t feel the need to hide behind a “uniform” anymore. We need colours!
  • Not all friendships have remained. I have ended some because I learned that there are people who just drain you. We do not need that. Some friendships just faded away and I am still sad about some of them. But more importantly: a lot of them lasted! And I have made new friends – people I have only met recently but who had more impact on my life than some long-term friendships ever had!
  • I am settled and I am not. I have got my routines that I like. I developed a feeling about where I belong – and from that point I can go and discover new places, new people, new inspiration.

So, would 26-year-old me say I am old? Probably. Does nearly-37-year-old-me think I am old? Nah. I am definetely oldER. Yes, the number gets higher and higher and that is frightening! But maybe it is just a number! I do have back problems and I have to put more energy into keeping my weight. I cannot go without exercising anymore because my back will punish me straight away. I am fighting gravity as in… ladies, you know what I’m saying! But I am more… myself. I have always had the feeling about not fitting in properly but I have learned that there is no such thing. And there is no need to fit in! As long as you don’t damage or hurt anybody you can be whatever you want! Life actually becomes easier when you don’t put on a masquerade anymore! I have opened my eyes to what is good instead of always focussing and circling around what is bad or not working. I have found out what I need to relax. I appreciate good people, good food, new impressions much more than I ever did.

Life is not about looks, money and party. It is about learning. Honestly, I think this is the only purpose in life! You learn, you grief, you get up again, you learn more! Even though my age in numbers still gives me a fright, I am feeling good at where I am. What’s in a number? Getting older is not scary, standing still is. And I will not stand still, my mind never does. That makes me young as long as I want 🙂

Yours truly, madly, deeply!

Lunatique

 

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