Age is Just A Number

I feel old and in limbo.

Let me explain.

I found out about a party that was happening over this weekend in Cape Town. I found out about it as it was happening. Thanks to Instagram.

How had I missed this and why didn’t I have FOMO?

As I was scrolling through Instagram, I said to my boyfriend: “What is this party and why didn’t we know about it?”

He replied, “Oh, I knew about it…It’s one of those day parties… for twenty year olds.”

Oh, right.

Wait, what?

I am feeling old. Not old as in needing dentures, but I’m feeling older, and yet sometimes (often) I feel like I’m still 24 and get a fright when I have to write out my age, or worse… move my pen further down the page to tick the next age box. I’m no longer in the 20-30 bracket, and whilst I’m more than happy to be in my thirties, I’m a little shocked.

How did this happen?

It’s that sobering reality that I’m not seen as being young anymore. Excuse the irony on sobering… we’ll get into the handling of hangovers just now.

Sure, I’m by no means considered old and I don’t look old. I’ve had comments from people who remark that I don’t look 31, but rather 26. You have no idea how much I appreciate them.

I do inner happy dances.

Seriously. No judging.

I’m at that weird limbo age.

A few weeks ago, after a friends birthday dinner, we spontaneously headed out to a club. We walked in, surveyed our surroundings, ordered a drink and I secretly hoped we wouldn’t spend too long there.

What I really wanted, was to go home, make a cup of tea and fall into bed with series.

Oh God. Old.

I also noticed how young the girls looked and how short the dresses were. Such pretty girls caked in too much make-up.

Oh. my. God. I sound like my mother.

I remember being in my early twenties, looking at my friends older sisters (that would be my age now) who were going off to their dinner parties and saying things like: “I’m over going to clubs. We had our fun, but we much prefer doing dinners these days.”

I’d think: “Oh no. How old! I am never going to be like that when I’m older. I’m going to be fun and awesome and party on.”

On the flip side, I also remember seeing girls much older, hanging out at clubs and looking like cougars. Honestly, I don’t think they were much older than I am now, but when you’re 19/20, 30+ seems old.

Yikes! I’m that person now that those 19/20 year olds look at. Do they think the same thing that I used to?

Look what’s happened!

How things have changed. Birthday parties consist of dinner parties (don’t get me wrong, these can be raucous, but it’s not the same as being out somewhere.)

Twenty year old Bailey would have been getting ready to go out at 10pm and not even be at the club yet. Thirty year old Bailey was there at the club at 11pm, sipping a wine spritzer, turning down shots and secretly yearning for tea and bed.

If you were doing dinner parties in your twenties, you’d rock up with a six pack of Brutal Fruits/Smirnoff Spins or box wine and it was perfectly acceptable. Thirty year old Bailey brings bottled wine or better yet, bubbles.

Twenty year old Bailey and her friends chatted about boys, trends, whose house we’d be getting ready at and whether we should cab it or nominate a designated driver. We chatted about exciting career start ups and how we were going to make it big.

Thirty year old Bailey is talking about husbands and long term boyfriends, organic baby food and breast feeding (which I can’t truly relate to), Weylandt furniture sales and bonds. The career talk still happens, but it’s also more grown up, more experienced and some of my friends are trying to balance career and being a mom, with a dose of guilt piled on top. Gross adult stuff.

I cannot do hangovers. I genuinely feel like my head may explode and the nausea is the shittiest feeling in the world. I silently beg for death.

Look, I’ve always been a light weight when it comes to alcohol. BUT, in my twenties I could handle and I was socially drinking a few nights a week. Twenty year old Bailey was going to Student night on Tuesdays. Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights were mandatory and Sunday’s would be followed up at Capello’s in Fourways (good grief*, am I showing my age or what?) for boozy Sundowners. We would do this week after week and I’d handle and be fine for the very next day, ready to do it all again that night.

*Evidently I am, even by using the term “good grief.”

Now I’ve mentioned the limbo part and haven’t explained that yet. So here goes… I’m in the in-between stages of life and what society says should be taking place.

When you’re in your twenties, you’re supposed to be partying up a storm, kissing lots of frogs (princes?) and finding yourself. When you’re in your thirties, you’re supposed to have settled down and have at least one baby or be pregnant. Apparently.

I am neither. I am not the young, wild party goer (anymore) and I’m also not settled down with a drooling baby.

So where does that leave me?

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have an issue with getting older and I definitely hope I’m going to age gracefully and beautifully. In fact Jamie Lee Curtis has an excellent point. She has been saying how appalled she as at the concept of “Anti – Ageing” when we are all going to age and it’s completely natural. She says:

“We are ALL going to age and soften and mellow and transition. All of us, if we are lucky enough to make it through this hard life into older adulthood. Aging is as natural as a baby’s softness and scent. Aging is human evolution in its pure form. Death, taxes and aging. Ageing is to be celebrated and in other countries they are. The term older and wiser is actually in play everywhere but here. In America, we celebrate youth and cling to shiny new things, stare at altered photographs and wonder why we don’t measure up.”

I think my point here isn’t so much the ageing process, but more the feeling. Do you remember when a school year felt so incredibly long? It took forever to get to the end of a school year, waiting for Christmas to arrive.

Now you blink and it’s a new year.

Time is a concept that we have made up and I guess as we grow older and wiser and experience more and more, it’s a reminder to enjoy each moment, even when you feel like you’re in limbo.

What are your feelings?

Pictures sourced from Pinterest.

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