WE FINALLY HAVE INTERNET!! We got it all installed and set up ourselves. Well, Will did, though I still feel rather accomplished. I've been gathering thoughts for this post for a while due to our connection drought, but it was only when I heard this song that I finally found the inspiration to start writing. And YES I still love Avril Lavigne. Belated teenage angst and all that.
Recently I've caught myself saying the phrase 'maturity is overrated' rather a lot, in a feeble attempt to protect myself from the process of aging, as if to defend myself from becoming - dare I write it - a 'grown-up'. Perhaps I'm having something of a quarter life crisis, having recently moved into a new flat and inherited all sorts of crazy responsibilities like paying bills and dealing with pesky estate agents. Sometimes I go on a night out and I feel OLD (granted most places in Preston are full of 16 year olds) and I'm now at that stage where I'm transitioning between being referred to as a 'girl' and a 'woman'. Oh and I keep getting excited about things like food shopping and interior decorating...
Maybe I'm just overreacting a little. It's not really the prospect of getting older that scares me; my Mum tells me constantly that she's never been happier than she has being middle aged. It's the idea that I'll start growing up in negative ways - all too often I'm told I'm naïve or that I'll grow out of my ideologies in time. A quote from one of my favourite German films 'Die Fetten Jahren Sind Vorbei' (The Edukators in English) goes, 'Wer unter 30 nicht links ist hat kein Herz, und wer mit über 30 immer noch links ist hat keinen Verstand' (Roughly translated: Anyone who is under 30 and not a socialist is heartless, and anyone who is over 30 and still a socialist is clueless). It's resonated with me ever since, just because I fear that the world will break me down and eventually I'll fit into this category. My world and political views are somewhat of a defining feature for me, so the idea of losing that is a little bit scary.
Personally, I think we can learn a lot more from children than we can from adults in terms of values. Children aren't rascist, sexist, homophobic, obsessed with tradition or believe in social hierarchy. These things are learned from - you guessed it - the older generation. I strongly believe that no child is born evil. Things are always very straight forward to children. Politicians get paid far too much money every year to sit around and debate issues like whether or not marriage equality should be legalised where as kids like the ones above think it's a no brainer. I'm not blaming adults for their ways, it seems to be something that develops through experiences, both good and bad and later in life people just want to settle down, which is understandable. I just hope I never opt for the easy life and become passive.
Also, I don't like the rules that I'm now 'too old' to do certain things. Things like having Disney dance parties in the kitchen and singing in public and wearing certain clothes... I don't see why adults can't be silly too. I understand there are some necessary rules of social etiquette that begin to apply as you get older, but where's the fun in taking yourself too seriously? I wrote in another post about how on starting uni, I became a lot more insecure and worried about other people's opinions of me. However due to this recent epiphany I seemed to have gone full circle to how I used to be, basically not giving a damn. And believe me, this is way more fun.
'It's never too late to be what you might have been' - George Eliot
I'm often reminded of this when I set out travelling, with friends and family telling me 'embrace the opportunity now, you won't be able to do it when you're older'. Um, why not? If you want any inspiration on really living, I'd recommend 'Old Man On A Bike' by Simon Gandolfi, who rode across South America on an old pizza bike at the age of 73. That's SEVENTY THREE. I want to be like THAT when I'm a pensioner. So none of this 'I'm just to old for that', alright? As I said earlier on to my Dad who is turning 49 again in a few days, you're only as old as you feel ;) (I don't care how cheesy that sounds, it rings very true. Also you should be used to cheese on here by now).
Doing the 'love train' at Hideout festival. One guy came up to us and said 'Have you ever been to something like this before? What are you doing?'. When I retorted 'Well who made you the fun police?' his come back was 'Grow-up'. No thanks Mr Cool Hipster Guy. We'll just dance with your mate instead. :D
Being referred to as a woman is possibly the strangest part of it all for me. I mean, I'm often told I seem older than I am, that I'm 'mature' for my age, but I can't say I feel anywhere near like a woman yet. It's the same as when news reporters say, 'an 18 year old man blah blah blah' and I'm all like 'MY BABY BROTHER IS NEARLY 18, HE CAN'T BE NEARLY AN ADULT'. Can anybody tell when exactly this feeling of being a grown up starts kicking in? A friend at work told me that he'd heard that really, a person isn't really deemed an adult until they're 35. Does that sound about right? I think I finally understand what Britney was singing about back in '01.
I suppose that my main concern really, is that I'll start taking myself and life in general far too seriously. Life can be both sucky and awesome but in my opinion, the only way to get through it is to be as carefree as possible. Of course there's times for being serious and fighting for things you believe in, but in the end you're going to die one day so don't forget to live now. So if someone tells you you're too old to travel or act in a certain way, tell them to do one or even better, get them to join in.