Life’s strange isn’t it? Bit of a random question, and not an entirely rhetoric one either. I caught up, by e-mail, with a friend I haven’t seen in a while…
Me: I’d better get on and tidy my lovely new tool cupboard – it’s really weird, if someone had said to me when I was 18 that I’d be excited to have a tool cupboard I’d have thought they were utterly bonkers, just goes to show you can never tell!
Him: Face it we are getting old – I got excited when I bought a drill.
You know what, he’s right. Our priorities change so much, even over the space of just a few years. We go from being desperately interested in boys and make-up, to being desperate for five minutes peace and quiet, and wondering when exactly it was that they discontinued our favourite range of cosmetics… It makes sense I suppose, that as we age we want different things from life – but does that necessarily mean that we’re different people?
In the space of six years I’ve gone from being immaculately (if skimpily) attired and perfectly coiffed to being comfortable in jeans, a scruffy jumper and with hair that often makes me look like a survivor from an oil slick incident. Does that make me a different person? Possibly, although my values, ethics, and other defining characteristics are pretty much the same. Does it make me a better person? I think it might well do, although not by any recognisable standard. I’m pretty much the same person inside, but I think the outward changes signify a serious change – I no longer care what people think of me anymore. I don’t pay much attention to what I wear, I don’t bother with make-up – if people see me looking less than my best then quite frankly they can take me or leave me. It’s not that I don’t care anymore, it’s that the opinions of others are less important to me than they used to be.
Is this what maturity is? Being comfortable going to the shops with unwashed hair and no make-up on? Going out in public in clothes that should have been sent for disposal years ago? I think it might well be – at least that’s my excuse and I’m sticking with it.
And yes, I do have a new tool cupboard, which I love so much that I actually hugged it when it first arrived. Make what you will of that.