My good pal Ross wrote an intresting piece on his Blog the other day which you can read here. It's a glance backwards to life as it was once upon in time. Back in the days when everything seemed carefree and the only real worry you seemed to have was what time you were due to be out with your mates or whether any of them had bought the neccessary items for the evening ahead.
In my opinion this is an example of Ross writing at his best. A rambling post which begins in one direction before rattling you away in another, taking a few twists and throwing in some random observations along the way but all the time keeping you reading and waiting for the conclusion.
Having read both the post and the comments I got to thinking...
We all look back sometimes don't we? Like every generation before us we get to that age/point in life where we can look back and think "they were good times". We start to say it like we've heard our Mothers, Fathers or Grandparents say it a hundred times before...we get a bit nostaligic for the days when we only had to please ourselves and when mortgages, commitments and the daily grind were all nothing to us and pension plans and politics were for old folk to worry about. Sometimes we wish to be able to jump in the car with our mates again, cruise the streets, get off our faces on whatever method we preferred be it drugs, cheap booze or both, to while away hours doing nothing but standing around in parks, shop doorways, street corners or if you were lucky getting indoors because someone had a "free hoose"...which normally came around because some trusting parent went to the costa's and left their teenager at home...only to return to find their favourite vase broken and hot rock marks in their sofa! We look back fondly, at least we do in my case, to nights spent in huge venues or fields or good clubs where there was a good vibe and you danced from nightfall and were still there to see the sun rise the next day. When hangovers and groggy mornings mattered not a jot because you were young and nothing seemed to affect you, you could bounce back on 3 hours sleep and have enough energy to do it all again the next night. Good days indeed.
Or where they? Is it just the nostalgic way we look back that makes us think so?
I am the epitomy of how life "happens" to you when you're not looking. I have the mortgage, the bills, the responsibilities, the kids, the commitments and the pension. I looked in the mirror the other day and minutes later I was at my head with a pair of tweezers extracting a grey, nay pure white, hair from the front of my hairline...granted it was alone, but it was there. I am no longer that young girl from the early 90's, the one who danced all night, the one who drunk her weekly limits in a few hours...but would I want to be? In a word no.
When I cast my thoughts to those who were back then my fellow "team mates" I am able to remove my rose tinted nostaligic glasses and be contented that I am no longer that girl. Some of those I hung round with back then are still there...still living life as they did back when we were the youths of the day...and to be frank it's not a pretty picture. We're all in our thrities now ranging between 31 and 36. Some have never held down a job for longer than a few weeks, incapable of doing so because it interferes with their social life too much. Some are still at home with Mum and Dad having never gotten to grips with independent life beyond a mental age of 19. Some are scarred physically by their hedonistic lives, the result of wreckless accidents while under the influence of some stimulant or another. Some are scarred mentally, paranoid, depressed, and unable to handle life. Some are in prison having taking the fun of random pranks to a new level. Some are drunks who spend their lives propping up a bar with men twice their age for company. Some are sadly dead, lives cut short by overdose, lack of awareness, violence or suicide. What do they all have in common? The inability to let go of their youths and realise that there comes a time when we need to step aside and let a new generation take the reigns as today's youth...just like Mum and Dad and Granny did before us.
Of course some of us did that...whether we realised we were or not at the time. Some went on to university, some met partners and settled down, some got jobs and some just fell into something randomly such as an uplanned pregnancy and realised there was more to life than all night raves, recreational drugs and cheap drink. These are the ones who are now living life...the ones who have created new memories to look back on instead of losing 15 years trying to remain the same.
I wouldn't change the days of old I had. I've filed them all under "experience" whether they were good ones or not. Fact is I'm an adult now. I'm all grown up...I am in the words of my Mum "all the woman I'll ever be". I enjoyed my youth and hopefully some of what I learnt through it will come in handy as I face life ahead with two teenagers of my own and maybe, just maybe, I'll have had a bit of experience to help guide them through those years.
So I'm older, maybe wiser and no longer as carefree as I once was but I still feel 19 inside. My youth has gone but my mind hasn't and neither has my life....and while you've got a life and you live that life and remember that while anything may not always be possible something always is you come to realise that growing up ain't so bad.