In my late twenties, older friends told me that you feel so much better in your thirties - more comfortable with who you are, where you're at. Now, as I approach the dreaded mid-to-late thirties, or "turning 18 for the second time" as a friend of mine put it, I've been musing on this broken promise of my early thirties.
Along with so many other things I hoped for (the joy of new motherhood, for example), feeling comfortable with myself got sucked into the vortex of post-natal depression. I've been feeling like I skipped the fun part of the thirties (do not pass go, do not collect $200) and landed in the insecure, unsettling part in which sometimes I smile at myself in the mirror, not because I'm having a great day, but because I'm testing to see how noticeable my wrinkles are.
Sometimes these thoughts make me feel sorry for myself. (For those who are unfamiliar with the lie of this particular land, sorry for myself is the slippery, gravelly terrain just a little way up the slope from kind of blue. It's risky to venture there).
Musing again on my sketchbook theme, I realise that by dwelling on what might have been, I am forgetting to appreciate what is, to just live each moment. So, I made a collage to remind myself.
These thoughts sent me back to a book I haven't opened in a long time, Jeanette Winterson's incendiary The Passion, which blew my tiny mind when I read it for the first time, aged 21. I remember underlining this quote and writing it in the front of my diary: It's hard to remember that this day will never come again. That the time is now and the place is here and there are no second chances at a single moment.
The soundtrack for today's post is Lorene Scafaria's 28, because it captures perfectly that sense of imagining that being a different age will somehow make you more of the person you want to be.