Sunday, January 24
That Peter Pan complex
What a difference 10 years can make. I was not at all happy about turning 40, but this go around, if anything, has been positively invigorating! And seriously, that's quite an accomplishment for me, let me tell you.
You see, I think I may be the only person out there who was actually rather despondent about the prospect of even reaching the double digits! Turning 10 meant I was no longer a little child; I had to put away child's play and face life a tad more grown up... or so I thought. Ha, I remember actually being sad that no doubt one day would surely come when I would no longer care to play with toys or make believe. All I wanted was to be a kid... forever!
Of course, a few years later, my peers were all too excited about becoming teenagers whereas I was positively not. That mantle indicated that now I surely had to pack away my Action Man figurines and finally stop playing pretend! I think too though seeing the duress my mother was under raising us as a single mom filled me with a certain sense of dread. I feared that adult life was going to be more about worrying how to pay the bills or what else to sell than anything else. It was the diminishing of dreams, as it were. Adulthood was all about working all day, all the time too, only to then come home exhausted and have to cook up some meal for the family. No thank you! Childhood seemed far more wonderful. I just wanted to close my eyes and carry on living in that imaginary childhood wonder where there were no real worries, where how one did in school didn't even matter that much.
While most of the ensuing teen years seemed challenging and sometimes outright depressing, I nevertheless wasn't ready to give them up at twenty, nor was I wanting to become a full-fledged adult at eighteen (in England). On top of that, I had absolutely zero desire to spend my 18th in some dank, smoke-filled pub somewhere. No, I didn't see any advantages to becoming an adult. I mean, after all, living in London there wasn't even a need to drive! None of my friends had cars either. Besides which, I loved riding my bicycle through Kensington Gardens and down empty, serenely quiet mews at night. Did this mean that now I had to put all that away too?
By the time twenty-one rolled around, I was living in America with my girlfriend (who would a year later become my wife), working and finally loving school (uni). That, however, didn't equate to relishing the idea of (once again) becoming a fully legal adult here now too. Again, I had no desire to drink too much in some loud bar filled with drunk "kids" seemingly desperate for attention and that pursuit of fun at all expense. Working almost full-time whilst a student meant I wasn't about to dump our money on such frivolous, let alone expensive pursuits. I was more mature than that, as it were! Some might well say I was far too old already, except for the inconvenient fact of only looking about fifteen or so by then and, deep down, my child's heart was still not ready to let go.
Other eventful birthdays came and went, some harder than others, but while I've never enjoyed getting older, I have always, oddly enough, loved my actual birthdays. It's that one day which is all about oneself! Relishing good cake too certainly helps, must admit. :)
This birthday was no exception. It was, actually, perhaps the best! Alex went overboard, even having that delicious Victoria Sponge (above) made for me at the bakeshop we love downtown to celebrate with some new friends and with my children who also showed up. In fact, earlier, I had a special dinner time out with the kids on my actual birthday that Alexandra arranged. The best part? As usual, the lovely cards with their thoughtful (tear inducing) sentiments each of my children wrote... and a loving wife who celebrates and believes in me. Those are the things I will always cherish, naturally.