Wednesday, January 02, 2013

What age am I?

I was watching this clip of Billy Connolly talking about his new film and his question about one's age seemed rather pertinent. He's 70 as far as I know but says he's mentally 37. I decided to revisit that very question.

What age am I? Yes, technically I am 44, but what age am I mentally? If you'd asked me fifteen years ago I'd probably have said something like 23. I felt 23 was old enough to be an adult but young enough to be full of life and be fun. Of course, with the wisdom of middle age comes a knowledge that although I got married first time round at 23, I was little more than a child who shouldn't even have been contemplating settling down. So I'm definitely not 23. I have far too much life experience to be 23! Then I remembered a passage I read, interestingly, at 23 in Marcel Pagnol's autobiographical story 'La Gloire de mon Père'. I haven't looked at it in more than twenty years but I remembered it almost verbatim.

L'âge de mon père, c'était vingt-cinq ans de plus que moi, et ça n'a jamais changé. L'âge d'Augustine, c'était le mien, parce que ma mère, c'était moi, et je pensais, dans mon enfance, que nous étions nés le même jour.

I know this is quoted from the child's perspective, but if altered slightly, it rings true... Mon âgec'était le sien, parce que mon fils, c'était moi... nous étions nés le même jour. Realistically a new me was born on 27-7-97. That is the cut-off between my life before I was someone's mother, and after. And after, nothing was ever the same again. The centre of my universe altered forever. So in a way I too was born on 27-7-97. I was born at the age of 29, if that makes any sense. I have a lot more life experience and baggage than I did at 29, of course, but essentially I think I feel 29 inside. I couldn't feel any younger because before 29, the me who I am today did not exist, but I think I'll try to stay 29, mentally, even if everything on the outside is heading further south.

I wonder what age my friends and family members are?

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