Two friends are in a bar on a Friday night.
One says to the other:
“Hey man, we’re gonna turn 30 this year. Any big plans?”
The friend answers: “Didn’t even think about it. Can’t believe we’re getting so old.”
Taking a sip of tea (yes, in a bar, but our friend here is quite particular), his friend answers: “You kidding? I’m not getting old at all.”
“That’s impossible. You do look young, but one day you’ll get old like the rest of us.”
“I refuse to. I’m never gonna get old.”
Then there should be a punch line, but I’m not a comedian, I’m just a writer. Sorry.
And yes, you guessed right. That friend drinking chai on a night out was me.
I was not joking (told you, I’m no comedian). I really do believe I’m not and won’t get old. Because see, I’m convinced being old has nothing to do with age, and everything to do with choices.
You get old when you get stuck. Stuck in your body, stuck your mind, stuck in your beliefs. You get stuck when you stop moving, when the calcium in your joints crystallizes as much as your opinions. When you truly believe your thoughts are the real deal. When you become the beliefs you’re holding onto for dear life, because they keep you in a safe disconnected spot, removed from the harsh truth of reality. When the emotions of past stories and events still haunt you, chilling in your subconscious. When you lose all flexibility in your body, mind and spirit.
You get old when you settle. When you stop believing you have a choice, when you think you have to work to pay the rent, childcare and that occasional bottle of wine that helps you unwind after a long week in your sucky office. The very same bottle you share with your okay partner, the one you don’t want to leave because the kids are still young and after all it’s not that bad. At least you still bond over the same Netflix series, they keep you warm at night, and save you from drinking alone the wine. That would be so sad and depressing, and you’re not sad and depressed, you’re just a little tired that’s all.
You get old when you stop being excited about the future, the future as in the very next day. When you’ve created your own prison. When you don’t see how you could make it much more fun by simply switching all those “have to” by “get to”.
That’s why as far as I’m concerned, I’m more Benjamin-Button style: getting younger everyday.
The older I grow, the more aware of the infinity of choices I have. As if I had been living in the dark for decades and someone finally turned on the light to reveal the amazing range of possibilities on this magnificent planet of ours.
Friends from multiple horizons are showing me the way: I could fall in love in LA, become a mother in Stockholm, move to Paris, get a job in London, or decide home is in the Caribbeans. No man is an island, still all we can be travelers on this tiny rock we live on.
Liberated from the self-imposed pressure and social norms, this golden cage my mind had imposed to keep projecting the perfect picture of a polished life on the IRL gram, the blueprint I thought I had to live up to, I’m now freer than ever to explore.
I can work as much or as little as I want to, love whoever my heart lust after, jump and dance and sing all day long, in my living room and in the streets (yes, not only do I sip tea on a Friday night in bars, I also chant mantras while getting my grocery shopping done). I can take a year off and do a yoga teacher training in California, or visit Italy and eat all the pasta and crema alla Nutella.
There’s nothing out of reach. I’m bountiful, blissful and beautiful. I can do whatever the fuck I want.
Yes, I’m about to turn 30, and I don’t understand why that number doesn’t mean anything to me. Am I in complete denial? Or is it that I finally get to not care anymore? Who knows.
Maybe I’m just in a sweet spot, moving on from my hectic twenties (damn Saturn Return) to the Lord-only-knows adventures of my thirties, right before I get struck by the ticking bomb in my uterus, waken up by my future baby screaming my name and begging me to deliver them into the world.
Let me reassure you: the baby is not shouting loud enough yet to cover the sound of the healing gong I use as a white noise at night. And I’m def not ready to settle any time soon in any other area of my life. So until then, like my sister’s future tattoo, my answer to all your project proposals and intrepid enterprises shall be “Why not, coconut?”.