I was reflecting the other day on the fact that I will be 29 this year.
One of my older lady friends was chatting with me a few months back about my life options (I was in another tizz about prospects – Existential Crisis and I are solid mates) and quite soberingly pointed out, ‘and you know Jean, you are not young any more…’ I was going to loudly protest. But the objection rose and then died swiftly in my truth-squeezed throat.
I might drive a student car (rusting, leaking oil, overheating, poorly maintained) I might still eat like a student (tin of tuna tipped onto boiled potatoe, generous dose of mayo and go!), I might still housesit for spare cash, I might still drink cheap wine and long for the days when I will be ‘old enough’ to splash out on a 50 buck bottle without wincing and wondering which column in my budget will now do without, I might still rent a flatlet and own very little of the furniture in it… but truth is, them student days are far behind me.
If you look on a timeline, that is.
I sometimes feel that, on a few levels, I am still sitting on my pony at the starting gates, whilst others, hearing that solid clang of gate metal crashing open, have charged off freely into the natural order of things (wedding bells… the sound of a hammer belatedly driving nails home into a self-assembled baby cot…the sound of a bond being approved…the sound of a two-income, moms car purring down the driveway…the sounds of Woolworths products singing in the fridge…)
Fortunately there are other souls around me who have equally taken to picking the grit disbelievingly out of their eyes as they watch the clouds of dust rising up ahead of them between their steeds’ ears.
We all know how humbling this experience can be.
‘Have fun guys!’ We holler at the dust particles ahead of us, and then turn to shrug at each other and get on with tea. Although it’s not quite like that, really. There is only so much time a person can spend longingly looking through metal gates at what ‘could be’, or up ahead at people cooing over their children, or their new home etc. before it becomes unhealthy. And there is only so much time a person can spend bitching about still straddling a bored pony at the starting gate.
No, then the Wild West theme music needs to kick up and exploration needs to be done as to what else one can jolly well do that is of equal substance as the dreams you have had to put on a (now cold) back-burner.