They say you’re only as old as you feel.
Sometimes I feel about 11. Other days I feel about 93. But one thing I’ve come to realise is: age doesn’t matter. Not in slightest.
When you’re at primary school you’re friends with people in your own year level primarily (the most fitting use of the word ever on so many levels). Seven-year-olds with seven-year-olds, ten-years-olds with ten-year-olds. For the most part anyway; obviously there are the few exceptions. I had a friend Siobhan who lived down the road and was two years older than me; I remember my own year level friends at school thinking me pretty rad being buddies with a year 5.
But as I’ve gotten older I’ve realised that those whose company I most enjoy are at polarising ends of the age spectrum. Take Ollie for example; 95 and top conversationalist. So much more to say than most 23-year-olds that’s for sure. Also a sensational pen pal. When someone can converse well on a postcard, you know you’ve got a keeper.
My Nanna and Bampga were two of my best mates. Every year I’d go down and stay with them in Wellington for a few weeks and it was always fantastic. Staying up until the early hours slowly (ok, rather rapidly) making indents in cheap cask wine and smoking fags. Some of the best time ever spent, always convulsing with giggles and covering subjects ranging from the mundane to the profound.
Two of my favourite people are into their fifties. Jo and Uncle Cock.
When you’re around Jo you can’t help but feel light and free. Her gaiety and glee are invigorating and being in her presence, you can’t help but smile and feel good. She is one of those people that instills you to feel light and carefree.
Uncle Cock is my biggest confidant. He’s knows more about me than anyone else in the world. I could truly yarn to him on the phone for hours on end. He is an incredible person, so generous, kind-hearted and of course, side-splitingly funny. I’m extremely merry lately because he finally got a smartphone, so I can bombard him with daily emails just to see wasssuuuup.
Then there’s the other end of the orbit. Kids.
God, hanging out with a five-year-old can be so rejuvenating. Before I came away I hung out with the two kiddies I’m going to nanny for on my return, and it was the best afternoon I’d had in ages. We had discos under duvets, dance parties in the van and animated and amusing chats about simple things. I left their place on top of the world, with them begging me to stay longer.
I went out that night raging. I was at a bar midway through my (third or fourth) glass of wine and I suddenly looked and thought, “Cripes, I wish I was still crumping under the blanket”. Those two kids’ company was so much more magnificently marvellous than the drunken idiots prancing round the pub (myself included).
And Owen, the cutest five-year-old ever, is such a sweetheart. I babysat for him a few weeks before I left, and his enthusiasm and joy at the smallest things lifted my heart. We went for a walk and he reached for my hand, his palm clasped with mine the whole stroll. I took him to the library and he curled up on my lap as I read him story book after storybook, his rapture and radiance as the pages turned so infectious. Hours went by before we realised the time.
I wish bodies didn’t age. Wrinkles and ailments show the years as physical proof and I believe it stops the contact somewhat. Imagine if we all looked the same age on the outside – the relationships that would be forged! The only difference would be the wisdom and life experience – and even this isn’t age dependant when you think about it.
I’m so glad Eva is here at the ashram. Deposited the fact she is 41, we’ve clicked and gelled so well. She jokes she’s like my mother but I prefer “big sis”. She’s becoming a true friend, and we’re talking about doing our further 300 Yoga Teacher’s Training Course in Bali or Thailand next year together so we can teach the really advanced students as well.
When I get home I want to look into volunteering to take elderly (shit I hate that word; I’ll find a really, really good alternative phrase that sounds alive should this happen) yoga at retirement homes. It will give me plentiful chances to make some beautiful new friends and engage in some great banter.
Age? Fuck the numbers. It’s all about who your mind matches.