Maaaaaaate, 25. How the FUCK did that happen?
I mean, you hear the bloody banal phrasing all the time but it has to be said: WHERE HAVE THE YEARS GONE? It feels like the morning before this that I was attending my first day of Uni. And now here I am; 25 in less than a week, and well and truly in my mid-20s.
There’s no denying it. (Though I shall well and truly. I have decided that I am eternally 22. Even when I’m 80).
And there’s no going back; I’m actually an adult (albeit one still living at home and driving her mother’s car – for now – but it is so). But I feel so far from it! I mean, a mortgage, health insurance, talking about the weather, knowing what rates are… I’m so far from it it’s not even remotely humorous (well, apart from the weather thing; when conversation dries up I must admit I am partial to doing the whole, “And what about this rain we’re having?”). Suddenly the characters in my Marian Keyes books (re-reading for the 12476376319th time each) are in my age bracket. Lucy is 26, and boyf Gus is 24. 24! From September 7th I will actually be older than him. Scary Karen’s years older than me can now be counted on one hand, and dippy flatmate Charlotte is actually my junior. (I calmed myself down from this frazzled realisation by telling myself Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married was first published in 1996, so they are actually my seniors at a solid 43, 44, 46 and 47 respectively).
Mate! How has this crept up on me!
When I was 16, 17, 18, – hell – even 23, 25 seemed so old. Just as close to 30 as 20. Halfway to 50. A quarter century. No longer classed as young, per se. And all of a sudden I am TERRIFIED of aging any further. (22, 22, 22, 22 FOREVER).
I was never one to have a ten-year plan (I know right? You’d so think it would be so). But somehow I didn’t think I’d hit the mid-20 year being where I am. I keep telling myself this is just the interim between the last and next adventure but I must say I wish September 6 would dawn with me catapulting up a mountainside or frolicking in the Ganges or something equally ethically fabulous. But that’s ok; I am going to spend the day with my one and only Opa, who shall be hitting the grand age of 88 (what a lad). With potential plans for a hot pool soak (a favoured pastime of my younger years with him) and an afternoon of a fair few rounds of Rummikub, it’s actually how I want to mark It this year.
But am I at where I’m “meant” to be? Of course not all entirely encompassing, but for the most part we are conditioned to strive for buying that house. Doing the whole climb up the rungs on that bastard career ladder. Such is seen as a “successful” life, especially if having accomplished so by the “tender” (now I understand why – it does unleash a touch of hurt turning it) age of 25. Yes, clap claps all round for all my chums who have done the above by the time they hit the mid-20s.
But I genuinely don’t want it.
I thought I’d be disappointed in myself. Another year gone by, nothing to “show” in the conventional sense of things. A couple of days ago an acquaintance (somewhat insensitively) laid out the question: “You had so much going for you in the way of a career,” he sez. “Do you wish things were different?”
At the time I replied with a cavalier shrug of my shoulders and a, “No because I have no responsibilities hahahaha I can leave anytime I want hahahaha I’m not at a desk all day long with blood pressure levels busting through the ceiling hahahaha” and so on and so forth. But it was a front; said person had wormed their way into my psyche and verbalised what I have been fearing for the past few weeks.
Am I disappointed? Yes, to a degree. I mean, people all seemed to herald me as some kind of big shot on the job domain upon me donning my grad hat and clutching my piece of parchment declaring me a Uni finisher (awful, awful ending to my valedictorian speech; I was unsure whether the auditorium were aware my spiel was over so I decided to end on an Elle Woods – you know, the screechy, “We did it!” – on the spot, which I know cringe about in memory. The brother James gives me shit on a few monthly basis about my impromptu conclusion and I just can’t garner the courage to rewatch the vid). And in some respects I feel I have let them – as well as myself – down a tad. You can’t help it – the whole lawn-luscious conundrum.
But then I consider the fact that I know myself. Well and truly. I know my faults, my strengths, my habits, my likes, what I’m good for and what I want out of life. And it just so happens that a lot of it is in direct polarisation to the societal “norms”. And I’m downright, well, down with that.
Plus, I shall welcome in my 26th birthday next year (sorry, 22nd) in an Indian ashram at the base of the Himalayas. That brings me much more joy than the thought of waking up in a bedroom that I own with the bank.
The last fortnight has seen 14 days bursting with both sadness and a whole lot of elation. Poor old sightless stallion schnauzer Angus has passed on (sounds a lot better than the other contenders there – either “bitten the dust” or “carked it”). The whole five of the Wortman fam loaded up into the Rav4 and took him down to the vets to take him to sleep, and although it was extremely heart wrenching and sad, there was a lot of peace in it. And of course, young Hank III has burst onto the scene, as well as a new addition – young lad Clyde, a Golden Retriever puppy that the brother James decided upon as his marking of his 21st birthday.
It makes you wonder; I mean, they say things don’t change that much but my golly, life definitely does catapult by at pace. I guess it can seem rather dull and hum drum at times with nothing much going on, but at others it’s all WHAM, all at once, with no chance to actually take it in until later on.
What is the point of life?
Now, I don’t mean that in a downtrodden, depressed, desperate sort of light, I must clarify; no no, I mean it in an I’m-genuinely-perplexed-as-to-the-why-of-human-existence type ponder.
I mean, obviously there is the whole biological reasoning – you know, the reproducing impetus, populating the earth sort lark. And ask some actual real living specimen and they would say the same; having a family and passing on the old gene pool is what it’s all about.
But I genuinely don’t think that’s my “point” of being. I think for me, it’s about something else. I don’t know exactly what that encompasses yet but I’m on my way to finding out.
No. I think the point of life is to find your own happiness, whatever shape, form or what not that takes. When you figure out who you are, what kind of makeup you’re, well, made up of, and what you take the greatest delight and gratification and amusement in.
I’m going after mine – because I think I’m truly on my way to cracking exactly what that is.
I’m making my year of being 22 (the fourth one) the ultimately best year to date. Watch. (And read). Pop’s going to take the world on with a fair bit of gusto.