I suppose ‘growing up’ is inevitable.
I have always been very young at heart and truly believe that thinking young keeps you young. I don’t buy into the idea that once you hit a certain age you should act in a certain way, or dress a certain way.
You can wear a mini skirt when you are over 30 if you want to. You can keep your hair long while it turns awesomely grey. You can definitely keep going to the pub to see bands for however long you enjoy it.
In many ways I still feel the same as I did 20 years ago. I’m pretty sure I think the same thoughts, my beliefs are still very similar, I enjoy the same interests, I’m attracted to the same sorts of people. In fact it actually really surprises me that I’m actually over 40. How did that happen? I’ve definitely gone quite a bit squishier (working on that ), and I have lots of sore bits that I never used to, and I spend much more time working and cleaning up stuff then I ever did in my youth, but I’m fundamentally exactly the same person. Just cleaner, rounder, and slower….
A couple of years ago I was feeling particularly light hearted and free spirited so I put my hair wrap back in, which is something that I had when I was 20 and was spending my summers at music festivals and camping in Golden Bay. It was actually pretty cool having it back in and brought back memories of the old days. I let my hair grow long again and kept it sun bleached and beach babe messy. It felt pretty good.
And then bammo! Fast forward a year or so and one day I just decided it was time to move on. Time to stop wishing that I was 20 again and pining for the life that I had then. I haven’t really changed as a person but things around me have changed. I moved countries. I have a husband and a dog and a cat. I bought a house. I have a job that takes up most of my time, and I have (a little bit of) money.
And it’s pretty good.
I don’t even remember if I was actually enjoying myself when I was 20. I assume that I was because I didn’t have any of the stresses that I do these days. But in reality I’m sure I must have had other different worries back then. Yeh, nah, I’m pretty sure it was awesome actually! What stresses are there when you’re young? I was renting and paying peanuts for my flat, working but not having to worry about earning as much as possible. Swanning off to festivals, dancing lots, eating not much, camping for months by a river with a group of fellow travelers, pretty much just enjoying life.
Of course there’s absolutely no reason why I can’t keep doing those things, or a version of those things now that I’m older.
What does start to fade as you get older though is confidence in yourself and therefore your ability to keep enjoying all the things that you loved in your youth. It gets harder to be spontaneous when you have to put in for holidays with work, book the animals into the kennels, save for a nice airbnb because camping is nice sometimes but not always ……So you start to talk yourself out of it and put it in the too hard basket, or have to plan for it so far in advance that there is definitely nothing remotely spontaneous about it.
Anyhoo, I don’t really need a hair wrap to make me feel young. I just need to keep doing the things that I enjoy doing, things I have always enjoyed doing. Hanging out with people I enjoy being with. Keeping active and enthusiastic. Hopefully I can keep doing that way way way into my old age.
And that’s really the ultimate plan.