I am a 42 year old 'obese, middle-aged woman' (according to my GP recently, who added defensively, “Well that's how you'd be described in medical terms!”). I believe I'm still twelve years old. It's just that something's happened to the outside of my body. I still get a little shock when I pass a mirror and find I'm not a diminutive girl prancing around with blond plaits and a home-cut fringe. I feel I am completely that same person. Paradoxically, I know that I have managed to glean wisdom and blessing from my years on this planet. Somehow, there's a marriage of the two. I am still very naughty, but also thoughtful and compassionate. I am lazy and procrastinate, and yet work tirelessly at times for the sake of others. And I love to sing. Some things never change.
Women often hide their age (or at least try). Has no-one told them of the futility of anti-aging formulas? The stupidity of women on a gender-wide scale is embarrassing! Ladies, the $5 jar will not work as well as the $500 jar will not work. I have never been the least bit tempted to lie about my age. I am proud of it – even though I may not be proud of it's effects on my skin and shape! I would hate to go back to being twenty-one, or even thirty because it would negate all that I have achieved and experienced since then.
The notion of 'six degrees of separation' is a common one. It describes where every person is connected somehow and that connection can be traced by only six different links. I believe my life and your life are connected by only a strand or two of separation. As inhabitants of this planet, we have so many experiences in common. You will look at the experiences, the watershed moments, the choices in my life and consider, 'I did that', or perhaps (more likely), 'I could have done that, but then I thought twice and realised it was a stupid idea'.
We are connected. We are all born, we take our early tottering steps, we taste new things. We are thrust into school or similar mass-social situations. We experience spontaneous loss of bladder control at an inopportune time (is there such a thing as an opportune time?). We are left at home on our own for the first time, only to discover we don't know what to do with this delicious freedom. We discover the power and fragility of a school girl/boy crush. We defy authority. We fall in love … and the adventure continues.
At any point of my twists and turns you might have stood there, yourself. You might have turned to a different path, a different choice. But for a moment there, we were very, very close to one another.
I trust that my life journey (not over yet, thank you very much) will connect with yours. That it inspires an appreciation of the complexities of experiences that make up our lives. That it makes you consider all that is precious in your own life story. That it makes you laugh out loud and cause others to look at you sternly.
It is good to be human.