Also, what overthinking is really like. So sad. So true. Yeah.
So at some point in the past week, I turned 35. Wow. How do I feel? Well, old. I can see some worry lines on my forehead … and thinking about them only causes more worry lines. I remember looking at the creases on my older cousin’s face and telling myself I never want to have them. Because I’ve always been mistaken for a 22 year old (it’s the jeans. And the purple hair), and I figured those scrunchy face markings would age me a few decades. Yeah, well, I have them now. And yes, I know they’re barely there to anyone else, but when I look in the mirror, all I see is this…
I share a birthday with my teenage daughter, and she’s in that space where she wants to go have fun with her pals. So this year, for the first time ever, she went off on her own. We had a lovely birthday morning, the she did her thing with her pals and I went to Toi to look for jeggings.
So. 35. Where am I at? Well, 2016 has been nasty for everyone. Brexit. Trump. Prince. Bowie. General fuckery. For me, it mostly sucked. Romantically, I got engaged and un-engaged. Emotionally, well, I’m in therapy for anxiety, so there’s that. Career-wise, I have a well-paying job that I’m really good at. Socially, I have a teenager, three cats, and 17 fish. I also recently discovered BYSS. Portably, I’m still restoring my mother’s Beetle. Financially, I’m doing okay … except I wiped out my savings putting my baby in high school. Also, December’s here, and my fridge broke.
So I guess for me, 35 is about clicking my reset button. Starting over. Building my savings from scratch. Adjusting to a life where my child – who has been my whole world since she was born – is needing me less and less, which means I need to establish ‘me without her.’ I need to discover the Crystal that is not defined by my little one, find the woman I am when I’m not a mum, dig out the me that is just me.
In an ideal world, I’d love to retire at 45, or better yet, at 40. I have no idea what that would look like, but there’s a lovely beach house in Diani that I never want to leave. All I’d have to do is fix the WiFi. And get a car. And move my cats (I doubt my fish would make it). And find a way to pay my bills for the rest of my life.
More and more often, I find myself asking the teenager to reduce the volume on her ‘noise’ (Seriously though, how is trap music?!? And how is alqaeda a dance?!?) At least we’re not fighting over her wardrobe … though that’s probably because she’s fashionista and always looks good, even in my clothes. There’s a way she puts things together that makes a dira or hoodie look like she got them off Fashion Week.
I don’t feel under-achoven or anything. I mean, I’m nowhere near my mum at 35. She had done so much more with her life. But even though I’m a psychological mess, in a way I’m content, at ease, happy even. I’ve done okay, and I can see pretty things in my future. I just need to get from here to there and stop calling myself old, because you really are as young as you feel, and right now, I feel really, really old.
♫ Fears to flames ♫ The Mess ♫