Whoever said life begins at forty should be run over, preferably by a tank.
The notion itself is ridiculous. What have the first forty years all been for then? Learning to walk, talk and be polite to people I don’t actually like didn’t take all that long. Did I miss some other part of the big plan? I hate the idea that I should be more together, more, I don’t know just more. Everyone around me seems to have worked out what they are here for whereas I… just haven’t.
At forty-six I am done pretending I have a clue.
I do not have a clue.
I keep expecting things to go one way and they go another, this still surprises me, it really shouldn’t, not after all this time. For all my forty-six years I have realised that there is a small child parading around inside of me, pretending she is a grown up.
I can not deal with emotional issues, that part of my brain, the bit that does ‘all that stuff’ just doesn’t bloody work, almost to the point where sometimes even I ask myself if there has been some kind of significant event in the past which has led me here, to this blank space. There hasn’t, at least none that I can recall.
I have never been in love. It’s true. I have tried to be in love, several times in fact, I have just chosen people it has been very hard to fall in love with. Or is that I am very hard to fall in love with? Either way it has just never happened for me.
This is not something that I am overly horrified about, although I must admit I am starting to question the reality of “love”. What is love? How many kinds of love are there? Is love just an understanding between two people? If it is so hard to fall in love, how is it so easy to fall out of it again? I may get to the end of my days having never truly been in love and as the days go flying by I am actually OK with that. I think.
Life passes in a flash, it is delicate and can be gone in an instant, just like that and there will be no second chance. Any fairy tale or fantasy would have you believe that you can do it all over again but it is simply not true, I know that and I love a good fairy tale.
Nowhere in any fairy tale though does it say…
Mary was having a mare of a morning. Already late for work she caught her heel in the wonky bit of paving outside the office, snagging her lovely new blouse on the Hawthorne bush under the window. Still flailing slightly and with her heel firmly ensconced in between two slabs of concrete she fell, unceremoniously on to her knees, losing the contents of her stupidly large bag, which never closes properly and grazing both her hands and her knees. Landing with a large “Fuck it!” she wallowed for a moment, head down, staring at the rolling tampons and errant lipsticks. Now with only one shoe on and a good inch gash in her lovely blue silk Zara blouse, she contemplated crying or screaming or both, very loudly. Then she saw two feet appear in front of her and a voice full of humour said, “Are you alright?” Not sure if she could look up for fear of displaying just how mortified she was and even more unsure that her carefully applied mascara wouldn’t by now be just a tiny bit smudged, she offered a mumbled, “Yes, thank you.” “Here let me help you,” said the voice, still clearly very much amused by the situation. A hand grabbed hold of her arm and hoisted her to her feet, where she met the gaze of her Knight in shining armour. Getting herself together she fussed about collecting her things from the floor and stuffing them back in her oversized bag before turning to look for her missing shoe. “Here” said Mr Amused “that is going to need a cobbler,” he laughed as he handed her the shoe, turned and walked off towards the car park, still chuckling. Mary thought about shouting after him, Oi aren’t you supposed to see if it bloody fits… but decided to cut her losses and find some ointment for her grazes instead.
So, as for life beginning at forty it doesn’t, it just carries on exactly as it was before. Forty is not the new Thirty and when I get to Fifty, which is not too bloody far off I’m sure I won’t feel like I am Forty and what is more I will likely still be bumbling around completely clueless.
Four years ago my life was pretty similar to how it is now, Tom and Elsie were smaller obviously but the same things were happening on a fairly daily basis and life was… Er, life.
This love thing is freaking me out. Actually that is not true, it is not true because I am not in love, nowhere bloody close. However, I am in like and I like the fact that I am in like. What I don’t like is the fact that the emotional part of my brain just can’t deal with it. I don’t know how to behave. Just when I think I’ve got it, I realise I have not got it at all, in fact I couldn’t be further from getting it if I bloody tried.
I love the fact that I am no longer online dating. That is definitely a bonus. I have not deleted my profile, I have just shelved it (I’m not one for counting my chickens), it is a nice feeling, that feeling of not having to first date but seriously the stress that comes from continually dating, the same person, far outweighs anything a First date can throw at you, unless he turns out to be an axe murderer, of course. First dates are easy, turn up, decide Yes/No, leave. Arduous and sometimes a little deflating but pretty painless over all. Dating, or at least exclusive dating is hard, especially for someone like me.
It is just not something I am good at. I am like an eternal best friend and that if I’m honest is where I feel entirely more comfortable, much more comfortable than navigating all these hairpin bends and unhappy endings.