I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the fact that we’re all grown up now and I thought it might be nice to share some thoughts. I regularly check in with myself by thinking, ‘Would my younger Hannah approve of Hannah now?‘ It’s basically the ultimate way of confronting yourself with what you hoped you would be like and a good way to stay true toyourself! But, beyond that, I’ve realised other things too.
My Aging Self Theory
You and I are not just 22. We’re also 3 and 7 and 14, every stupid decision we made at 15 and 18 and, perhaps because we signpost them, we think of them as different characters. We treat them as different stages of you and I. One was into rock and one was into boys and one was miserable but the other had the best time ever. All of these characters don’t abruptly end when a year does, they come with you. In that way, we’re not losing years and the things that we were, they’re all just smushed up together into the latest version of you.
Things I Miss
I look back quite fondly on my early childhood. My family were always outdoors. Nearly every picture is of my brother and I with dirt on our hands and knees, playing outside with sunhats and smiles for miles. I was a scruffy kid and I still am. I’d turn up to school in a uniform covered in cat hair and my pockets were always full of pebbles or weird stuff I collected. I remember, at this one caravan site, I kept picking trees and plants for no reason and would just carry bits around with me. I really miss just being dirty and having no concept of time or responsibility.
I miss being comforted by the fact that I could just go home at the end of the day and ask my stepdad what was for dinner. I miss the laughter, made up games on the lounge floor, the mischief of accidentally breaking something with a ball and having to work together with your siblings to organise a cover up.
Things Growing Up Gives You
I didn’t want this post to just be solemn, it’s not. Let it be known that even when I catch myself feeling down, looking around me wondering how I got here and what my mum and stepdad and siblings are doing right now, far away, I do try to be grateful. Growing up also got me a cool apartment in sought after central London filled with lots of lovely things. I have so much freedom and a job where I get to do what I want. I have two cats and a dog. I do what I want when I want and, fortunately, with my job and lifestyle, I’m often still able to have no concept of time.
As long as you did everything you wanted to and think your younger self would approve of you now, you’re on the right track. And it’s totally okay to sometimes still want to return home to your parents’ house and eat dinner and play board games and be childish again.
I carry one of my favourite quotes with me on this matter, from one of my favourite women of all time, Emily Brontë: I wish I were a girl again. Half savage and hardy and free.