I have some news to break to you. This might be hard to hear, but you need to hear it. I…I found a grey hair today. Actually, it was more white than grey, and thicker than all the other hairs around it, which means it’s a new one right? Like in those terrible books/ films Twilight where the newest vampires are the strongest? I appear to have gone off on a tangent, but that happens sometimes; especially for an elderly woman of my age. Gah.
I’ve been avoiding it, like we all have, but time waits for no one apparently. I am officially getting older and I’ve got the grey hair to prove it. Also there are many little things about me that have changed gradually over the last five years, that I’ve only just noticed and now have no power to change. Here’s a few of the buggers:
I DISLIKE PEOPLE
Anyone who is also 29 and isn’t a social butterfly maniac will know what I’m talking about. I’m a natural introvert, and I always have been (I realise that if you’ve been reading this blog at all over the last few months, you might think me a liar but I’m not, I’m just a great pretender of confidence). I had social skills and made friends easily as a kid, but I didn’t really say much and liked to observe others rather than get involved. However, I was always open to making new friends, and at one point in my early twenties I thought Facebook friends also counted as real friends, but this is not true. Not if you’re thinking about friendships in the traditional sense.
Anyway, as the years have gone by, my patience with people has dwindled. My close group of friends is merely a handful of people now and everyone else is…’meh’, unless we have a clear common interest. Perhaps it’s all those tube commutes to work, watching mob mentality rear its ugly head on the Victoria Line. Or maybe it’s just that I’m getting older and am more set in my ways, and I’ve finally accepted that my views on life differ significantly to a vast number of the people I share my commute with, say; more than I could have imagined. Plus, my ability to put up with other people’s stress in addition to my own stress has massively reduced since university.
Between the ages of 18 and 24 I would say that I was always looking for new friends and open to anything, which would explain why most of my university friendships have now taken their rightful places in the annals of history. There’s a fine line between being open to anything, and compromising everything; including yourself. I can just about tolerate people in general now, but am very selective about the ones I voluntarily interact with. Which is one of the reasons I choose to stay in rather than go out to mingle with strangers. Bleh.
I LIKE STAYING IN
Staying in rules for a myriad of reasons, and if you don’t know any of them, then you’re probably under the age of 25. Or you’re young at heart, in which case this isn’t the blog post for you. This is for the night dwellers who pace their living room at 6.30pm on a Friday night, wondering when would be an acceptable time to get into their pyjamas and put on that film/ TV series they’ve been looking forward to all week. I am this person and I’ve made my peace with it.
So what if social media is implying that all my friends are out having the time of their lives in some trendy bar or club? If they were really “having the time of their lives” then surely they wouldn’t be thinking about posting it to social media to prove what a good time they were having? I’m not posting to social media on a Friday or Saturday night not because I’m ashamed of staying in, but because I’m genuinely having a fantastic time with my movie, my popcorn, my hot tea and my slippers. Meanwhile I’m expected to want to venture out after a hard week of work, to go and either sit in a stuffy bar with strangers (who as I’ve already mentioned I’m not fond of) and order overpriced alcohol until I am satiated and then have to pay for the hangover from hell for the next two days, after drinking three drinks because I’m a lightweight? No thanks, not when there’s a Moroccan Mint tea waiting for me at home.
HANGOVERS LAST FOREVER
Staying in and drinking hot tea are not completely unrelated to the new form my hangovers have taken in the last 5 years. I remember fondly how at university we would drink like idiots, the room spinning in our heads as we stumbled safely to our beds almost every night, with the knowledge that we would either have no hangover or that it would be over by 12pm the next day, ready for us to attack our livers that following evening.
My God, how times have changed. Now I am a lightweight because I do not drink as much anymore. I do not drink as much anymore because on one foolhardy night some four years ago, I went out with friends, we drank, I woke up the next morning and was certain I was dying. I was out of commission for a day, but the next day I felt just as ill, and then the next day there was still the hint of sickness. I was questioned myself worriedly; “Do I have the flu? Am I coming down with something serious? Should I seek medical attention?” It didn’t take me long into the fourth day to realise that this was just the new order of things – if I was going to actively destroy my liver, the rest of my body was going to respond in kind. A lot. Needless to say, it took me a few goes on the drunken merry-go-round after that before I got the message.
Now in my 29th year, I’m almost completely teetotal. I would like to say that it’s for health reasons or some insanity about drinking not being fun, but that would be a lie. Fear is what drives me not to drink; fear of the hangover and the recovery time. Fear of that nauseating feeling that stays with me now long after all the drinks have disappeared along with my youthful exuberance, apparently.
There are so many other joys that come with turning 29 and I hope you never have to experience any of them. I mean, I want everyone to live way past that age obviously and…well, you get it. Just be prepared is all I’m saying, to have narrower views and find comforts in quiet places. Party hard whilst you still can/ want to. You cannot get those years back, unless you’re Hugh Hefner or someone who refuses to let go of their youth. We probably wouldn’t get along either; I’m too set in my ways.
Image credit: Elderly Woman by Anushay Qureshi from the Noun Project