All Aboard!

Here’s the thing about getting older: you decide if you do. Well, yes, we age, it’s noticeable, physically and psychologically, but all in all we decide if we’re ultimately old even though society deems us so when we’re tapping away at taxes and medical aid and car payments and watching the early evening news. We can’t go out two nights in a weekend because it’s exhausting and we’re slowly getting used to sophisticated wine, laughing at our younger selves who were bowing down before R18 bottles in Pick n’ Pay. And it’s funny to think that was just 3 years ago. And that back then, we could get away with wearing unimportant hoodies and jeans and buying late-night cheeseburgers without any inclination of trying to shop for Woolies salads and pro-Noakes foods. We could also get away with our parents buying us concert tickets.

Getting old.

It’s such a negative term, isn’t it? When I turned 25 last week, the questioning, the remarks were expected: tannie, ouma, jou ou ding. The phrase “a quarter of a century” terrified me. Mostly because I sounded like an old, hackneyed ship that was pulling into a port, creaking off the waves while locals prayed that my anchors would work. I hope ol’ quarter of a century makes it to shore! Aye! Aye! And I’d sit steadily while seagulls pooped and plastered the loose decks. And all I could think about the day after my birthday was: Abandon ship! Abandon ship! Luckily on my special day, I was surrounded by family and friends who made me realise how young at heart I was every year around my birthday. The long, hard hangovers the next day revealed it, too.

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But the 20-somethings are a little overwhelming in that you’re supposed to harness some sort of ‘adulthood-ship’. There goes that reference again. Our parents and grandparents nudge us with thoughts about settling down, paying for more and eventually making a new human to endure the same situation we’re faced with now. I won’t poke people who are in that situation now. Just that I would personally like my ship in working order, several advancements with a masterful crew before I intend on reaching that point. And why invest, if you haven’t finished working on yourself?

Let me stop being mildly pessimistic about this. I was just thinking that perhaps it’s okay to delay this ‘adulthood-ship’ for as long as possible; that we can give a big finger to the idea that by 25, we’re supposed to have found what we really want in life and where we’re supposed to be. Because, I believe we won’t for a while and that some people, even at 40, don’t fit into that perfect situation in their heads.

Maybe we never will, but we should never stop searching or trying and believing that we can or that we could reach some sort of conclusion (perfect or not) that makes us happier. While we may be more settled, pay our usual scheduled payments and hope for the odd night when you become ‘wild’ and order tequila, there is an idea that ageing is becoming comfortable.

Becoming anchored.

In truth, it should be a spring board into a new realm. It should almost be an uncomfortable excitement where plans are doings and anchored ships are only anchored to replenish and restore and rearm for fresh adventures and new unexplored areas. Sometimes, we have to do it ourselves, sometimes with a crew at hand, but either way, it’s us steering and reaching for a situation that is never stagnant. Don’t become stagnant. There’s nothing more hopeless than seeing someone settle on how things have gone instead of them paving a way that is more suited to what they want out of life. It’s a little easier said then done. Well, until it’s done – then you look back and see how it easy it was changing your attitude towards something.

Abandoning ship ain’t so bad after all and letting loose of those reigns is okay, too. As long as you have an idea or prolong that need to search for one, drowning will never be an option. Wanting more is not selfish. It’s almost necessary in a Life that commands normality. Wanting more is a little taste of your soul knowing and crying out for something other than what is around you – even though you’re thinking that wanting change is just some ‘quarter of a century’ phase that we’ll all get over. It’s not. When that little voice in the back of your mind tugs at new ideas, it’s because your heart wants it.

All aboard. It’s up to you.
 

You deserve better

You know how the corny romantic guy in corny romantic movies always says “You deserve better” to the love of his life? Maybe, instead of the corny romantic woman denying that she deserves any better, she accepts the statement wholeheartedly and dumps him for someone better. That hardly makes sense to the world. Maybe, it’s because we regularly allow ourselves to settle for what we have instead of risking it for a better being, job, adventure or once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Everyone will go through the mindless routine of their everyday with a momentary daydream of what their life could be instead. And in this case, you deserve better. In most cases now, maybe all humans do because we all fantasize about a life that revolves around mansions on a sunny island or cruising in a sports car in South America. Everyone dreams about more money, more things and a perfect kind of job and partner.

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To be quite blunt, most of us won’t be heading for those aforementioned desires. A good 98% of us will be ticking off some of our life missions but will never think to step over the edge. Yes, maybe the mansions and sports car is aiming a little high. Maybe it’s because we duly accept the way things are at a moment in our lives? We accept a certain level of things and people around us we think we deserve to hold. If a friend suddenly complains about a boyfriend that doesn’t treat her well and spends most nights rubbing down a bottle of tequila and she eventually accepts it as her fate, then what can actually be done about it? People need to realise that they always deserve better. It could be your lowly self-worth playing on your decision-making. You’ll think “But at least I have a job! I guess I should be happy!”. Logical point in this damn economy but it’s not the most promising mindset to carry around with you.

It follows-through in every facet of your life. Suddenly you’ll be giving into things that need not exist in your life. Why bite into the bad blueberry muffin if there’s a fresh, hot, straight-out-the-oven bunch with a free, steaming cup of coffee right there? Silly point but you know what I’m getting at. Perhaps someone’s ‘picky-ness’ of Life should be seen as a little gift – why not be open to the better? Why can’t you accept a sense of living or love-of-your-life that is just better? Don’t sell yourself short. If you have a throbbing inkling that you’re missing out and DO deserve better, you’re probably right. Not many will sacrifice their current lives for their inklings and desires.

If you feel that you deserve a half-hearted friendship or relationship, then that’s you. If you feel like you deserve someone that will jump the globe for you, then your heart is telling you to accept the incredible or at least a friend who makes the effort to see you. It’s kind of up to you. It shouldn’t be a “Well, I’ll see how it goes”. Maybe these “I’ll see how it goes” experiences are there for us to learn from and for us to evaluate our own worth.

Let yours be wondrous.

A quick reminder to adults

Dear Adults,

Stop telling kids what to do when you’re going grey over life and everything in-between  While you book a massage to relax and get away from the stress of your job, kids are getting their feet full of mud and struggling with their straws and what kind of TV show they’re going to watch.

I know, such a crutch.

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So adults, while we keep our specific laundry days intact and dream of worlds unknown and desert island adventures, make sure you find your inner child. This does not mean you have to start colouring with your finger or wear Disney shirts. It just means that we’re allowed to have fun and we’re allowed to prolong that playfulness that some lose far too soon. And when you find that fun, don’t let an adult judge you for not being adult enough. There’s no such thing. We might be ‘tied down’ by work, tax and the price of petrol, but that in no way should manufacture your sourness for the world. It should in no way determine your mood about your painful life or your forever thoughts about the ‘good old days’. Those days were good but they should not just stop when you celebrate more birthdays. There can be lots of ‘good old days’ if you live in a positive light. It might be a simple life instruction that many will find hard to live by but it’s definitely not implausible.

What I’m trying to say is: be in wonder. As a child, we are so freakishly alive and aware and happy about simple discoveries that we wake up with a renewed energy to experience everything we can. As ‘adults’, we kind of look past the wonder of an autumn tree or the taste of a freshly baked croissant. We rarely look out the window and just see. We no longer explore. We never ask ‘why’ like we did when we were kids. We are confined to a world that is so adamant that you grow up and become a grown up. It’s hardly a fantastic thing to be in its social context. A grown up sits with the expectation of bills and being stuck in a life, a job, a relationship, a route to work.

As kids, we ask the world why it is like it is.

As adults, we accept over and over again, devoid of the need to learn.

Never stop learning

Never stop experiencing

Never stop seeing

or exploring

or asking “But why?”

Or

“Why not?”

We can still be the ones to pay our tax and live life.