So, there it is. I’m about to turn 44. It feels like a nothing age really. Everybody gets excited about 40, or 50, but 44. Well, you never get any big parties for that. It’s definitely prompted me to reflect though. I’m probably half way through my life now. I’m officially a bit middle aged.
I’ve often thought that life is like a play in three acts. At least I feel like mine has been. The three stages of (wo)man if you will.
Becoming a mum has been the most exciting part of my life so far, and the most challenging. But being an older mum has had it’s advantages. I feel like I’ve had a good run before I settled down and had Small Boy.
This is everything up to about 18 years of age. There’s a few scenes which set out background, but I don’t recall being particularly self aware until I started school. My earliest memory of being aware of any aspirations were in primary school. A teacher asked every pupil to say what they wanted to be when they grew up. Teacher. Nurse. Doctor. Fireman. Then it came to me and I said author. I had no idea how hard it would be to get published, although it was something I did manage to do a few years ago with several books under my belt.
By the time I got to secondary school, my aspirations of a writing life had taken a turn in a new direction. I was fired with a desire to understand the world and make a difference. My dream of becoming a traditional writer had fallen by the way side, but there was still hope. I read Annie Oakley, Germaine Greer and Margaret Meade. I chose Sociology for an A Level and decided I would go to university and write about things like feminism.
The I went to university, the second stage of my life, and everything changed.
Coming from a working class background, I had very little appreciation of what university would be like. My knowledge had primarily been gleaned from Brideshead Revisited, A Very Peculiar Practice (two great shows incidentally) and Maurice, an EM Forster novel published posthumously.
I was brought unceremoniously down to earth when I realised that in 1992 students didn’t want to change the world and nor did they sit around debating great literature. Mostly, they tried to pull whoever they could and get blind drunk most of the time. Needless to say I spent most of my twenties throwing myself into both of these activities with great gusto. This was the dawning of the second age when all measure of social consciousness disappeared and it became all about beer, validation and money. I loved the nineties.
My twenties were therefore spent on ME! I left university, got a job and earned a very good living. Suddenly, all my goals were about validation – doing well enough to have someone reward me with money, with bonuses, with commission. Everything was about a number – targets, investments, mortgages, and numbers of bedrooms.
But I always had a feeling that something didn’t quite fit, including relationships.
I had a couple of relatively serious relationships, before a very serious grown up one almost broke me. It was then I that I made a decision to be single and build the sort of life I wanted for myself on my own, including having a child some day. Then I met my husband and everything changed. He brought me to my third stage.
So now, although halfway through my life, I’m in my third stage, and I hope my final one.
It is the one in which I have remembered who I really am. I learned a lot in my thirties that prepared me for my forties and this my favourite of stages. This is my Mum Life phrase. This is the time that I found my joy in writing and that I found I could be whatever I chose, and not what people say I should be. Life is full of possibility. With a toddler in your home, it’s like you’re learning about life all over again as you see things through their eyes.
I haven’t written so much about this act, as it’s still relatively new. Almost three years. It’s nothing in the grand scheme of things although it’s the one that fills me with excitement the most. I wonder what new experiences it will bring. It doesn’t feel like an end yet. It feels like the beginning of another story.
What act of your life play are you in?
Getting ready for my first night out in years…. literally. We haven’t much family to help with childcare and with hubs gigging most weekends, my social life has shifted to the daytime. Not that I’m complaining, it’s all been worth it. Feels weird putting my face on this late in the day though. Opted for wearing my tropical print maxi from @dorothyperkins again, as the orange jumpsuit from Next made me look a bit like the love child of Anneka Rice and an Oompa Loompa. Weirdly this is my third night out since SB was born, and the third one at @lasiguanas. Hat trick! It must be where us ladies of a certain age socialise now. Wish me luck, I’m going in (well, out-out…. and out-out for the first time since before SB). #nightout #outout #mumlife #girlsnight #girlsnightout #pblogger #mblogger