I love getting older, I really do. Yes, there are days when I look at my boobs and think they’re not quite as firm as they once were but it’s really no big deal as I persistently questioned my body during my teens and throughout my early 20’s anyway.
‘Why are my knees so big?’ ‘Why can’t the shape of my arms be more like hers?’ I’d certainly get more sex if I looked like that!’
Then I hit my late 20’s. I lost a shit load of weight and believed this was body appreciation. I’ve always had a small frame but this was another level of skinny. I’d examine my reflection and revel in the sight of my ribs. The pride I felt, as I soaked up the Shoreditch nightlife in a tight dress exposing hipbones and an arse like two blueberries, was off the chart. I would often get comments about how skinny I was and how great I looked, even though the bags under my eyes were encroaching the crease of my cheeks as I forced a smile. I looked fucking terrible but I was skinny so it didn’t matter how healthy I was. I got sick all the time, I was ready to hit the sack by 7pm but I was skinny so who freaking cared. I would head straight to the teens clothing in the charity shop to try on jeans for ages 12 – 14. I thought I’d cracked the secret of happiness. Seriously, if I can do these pre-pubescent jeans up and sit down without the waistline being so tight it blocks my digestive movement, I am indeed the perfect human being. Even if it did hinder my breath and suppressed my healthy bowel movement, it was absolutely worth it.
Then I had a nervous breakdown at 30.
I left my job, my four-year relationship, which consequently meant leaving my home in Stoke Newington and fought with my ex to take Harry, our dog back to my folks to continue his life with me. So with packed bags Harry and I went back to my parents house to thaw out the frozen light. I needed to grow, in every sense of the word. I needed lots of fat, I needed a bed all to myself and I needed to cry everyday until I couldn’t be bothered to cry anymore.
You could say it was here I began to consciously think about my life and the decisions I’d made… my ‘journey’. Up until recently I’ve hated the word ‘journey’. Now that I’m writing about the fact that I hated the word I can’t even come up with a reason as to why I was so against the word in the first place. I think I hated words for the sake of disagreeing with something. I generally felt a huge agitation towards positivity, it didn’t matter what form it came in, positivity offended me. It was nice to disagree with something, feeling angry felt comfortable. Feeling angry at the world gave me reassurance, comfort if you like. Comfort that nothing was my fault and I was merely reacting to the shortcomings of my surroundings. It felt good to blame others and circumstance. So good that I curled up and ignored the living.
I don’t ignore the living anymore.
I love getting older because I can understand the importance of pain. I love getting older because I can understand that breaking down is the beginning of building the new. I love getting older because I can look in the mirror and love the woman staring back (ok, so in all honesty I can stare in the mirror some days and think ‘you totally fucked up!’ but I don’t dwell on this for damaging amounts of time like I used to).
And so the journey continues…