Greetings to you, my new reader.
I must say I am surprised to find you reading this. I have never been a blogger or a public speaker/writer and have never thought there to be anything interesting about myself, my thoughts or feelings to write about. Yet, there is something empowering about seeing words wrote down that convey a feeling, emotion or situation and connecting with others that share those feelings too.
You see, I had an epiphany just a couple of days ago and I started thinking about my life and where I was going. I found out that a childhood friend of mine, who I hadn’t seen in around 17 years had been murdered last year. Her story has been all over the local news, and I couldn’t comprehend someone I knew, and that was my age, having their life cut short so instantly and so young. I couldn’t get her little face out of my head, coming round to my house asking me to play outside and not being able to pronounce my name properly – ever. I allowed myself a little smile at these recollections, and how carefree we were. As children, we never think about the future or where our lives will lead or end. We live for the moment without realising it, and make beautiful memories that we don’t recognise them as things that we will come to cherish in the years to come.
And it was whilst I sat and thought about my childhood friend and her short life, that it hit me. In just over 3 years time, I am going to be 30 years old. Me. The baby of the family. The one who isn’t supposed to grow up. How did I end up here so quickly?
I know there are going to be people reading this who are potentially in their thirties, forties or even fifties and sixties onward (very ambitious thinking, I know) who look at this and think ‘gosh, I wish I was still on the left side of 30’. And it’s true – whatever age or stage we are at in our lives – we respond to people younger than us who are having their relative-age-crisis with that humoured ‘I-remember-what-it-was-like-to-be-your-age-once‘ look. I see 18 year old young adults going through their first heart-aches and trauma and give them the ‘look‘. I, too, was on the receiving end of that ‘look‘ only last week when in conversation with some colleagues at work sharing my moment of realisation. We can’t help it – we hold on to our nostalgia and little things bring back so many memories of being at different points in our lives – which ultimately means being younger. We feel accomplished to have overcome those trials and tribulations and are able to laugh at how we did it or coped. So to see someone just starting out thinking life ends there, and realising you had those exact same thoughts but are now older with the wisdom and knowledge you wish you had then, you can’t help but to smile and feel humoured by their experience.
I’ve never put much thought into getting older, if I’m honest. I didn’t see life as a race or a rush, I was happy to just move with the times. I wasn’t in a rush to be a grown-up; hell, I see the word ‘grown-up’ and wonder where I can find me one of those. A grown-up to me now is my mother or my grandma, aunts, uncles, older siblings.. but back when I was 16, me ‘now’ would have been a grown up despite always being quite mature for my age back then.
However, I didn’t expect to get to this point, what seems like, so quickly. And surprisingly, I’m not feeling entirely regretful or unfulfilled. Sure there are things I did or didn’t do that I regret, but we can’t live in the past and the what-ifs. I’m in a great place right now; 2017 was a genuinely fantastic year for me and I ended it looking forward to whatever is coming next. But what I do feel is anxious about where I am heading and whether I will make choices now that I regret in my thirties and forties. What would my childhood friend say about her life if she could talk to us now? Would she regret much or would she say the children she sadly left behind were enough and fulfilled her dreams and wishes? I’m not sure. The sad but most important thing to remind ourselves is that we can’t assess things once our time is up. We have to assess ourselves and where we are at constantly throughout our lives otherwise we can’t make things right or achieve what we want to achieve.
So that’s how I ended up here. I figured I would document my thoughts and feelings from this point – and maybe that will help me and maybe other people in identifying where I want to be heading and the choices I want to make so that I don’t look back with resentment and regret. I don’t have a plan. I had a plan five years ago – and guess what – I’m mostly doing none of the things that I thought I would be doing. Now that’s not a bad thing – because I’m happy with where I am at the moment but I’m reassessing my situation, making goals (achievable ones!) and plans whilst also dealing with the emotions and thoughts that come with growing up.
Thank you for reading. I hope to see you on this journey with me too.