On growing Up (Not Old)

About a week ago, I turned 26.The first year after the major landmark that is 25. Meaning I’m now the proud ticker of the 26 to 30 box. Until now, I never really paid much attention to the issue of age or growing up. Years passed, and yet I happily somehow stayed stuck at 16 in my head, blissfully oblivious that I was growing up, that is, blissfully oblivious that people expected me to act as an adult.

Now that 30 is no longer an abstract number calling to my mind ANCIENT people (that was the ageist minute of the day) and tired mothers overwhelmed by screaming toddlers, I have to reconsider my beliefs and prejudices.

Before, at the blissful age of 25, whenever 30-something people would tell me they were still young, I’d snigger. Poor old souls! I’d say. Ah, let them fool themselves! Them! Young! Ah!

Then my sister turned 30, and didn’t have the decency of fitting into my prejudices against 30 something people. A new mother, she does not seem overwhelmed by my niece’s screams. In fact, she looks more serene than ever, and even her child is plotting against me by refusing point blank to be a screaming brat, but rather a lovely smiley baby, both mother and daughter reflecting each other’s mood. My sister is still working, she’s recovered her petite figure, in a word, she doesn’t look like an exhausted 30 something who’s having no fun, looking smug pushing her pram (I hate when mothers do that, they push their prams against you while walking down streets, as if to say “Move you useless childless piece of work! I have a Child in my Pram, move away from my path”. I’m a mean young woman wearing 10 cm high heels, I usually won’t budge).

Anyway, then it was my turn to have a birthday, and I turned 26. Suddenly, something in my head screamed: 26! But that’s only 4 years from 30! Why GOD why???

I’m really feeling ambivalent regarding this age business. On the one hand, I’m quite looking forward to becoming older, when experience and maturity will finally do their job and calm my anxieties down. On the other hand, I still feel like the teenager admiring from afar women in their late 20’s, envious of their posture, their allure, their shoes, their confidence (not necessarily in that order). It’s taken all my will power to realise I was this woman now.

Sort of.

I may have the job, the shoes, and a resemblance of maturity that prevents me to turn everything into a Greek Drama like I used to do in the tormented days of teenage angst, but I do still have a suspicious fondness for little bows, I still drink my coffee in a Cinderella mug, and my 14 year old crush on Liam Gallagher STILL hasn’t faded.

Blowing the candles on my chocolate cake, I sat and waited for adulthood to finally kick in, but could not feel the hit. Instead, it just crept in on me, taking the form of small day to day changes, like realising I actually prefered having a quite night in a bar or at home with my friends when I could actually talk to them rather than going out clubbing, or being suddenly conscious that depsite my best efforts to spend my way through shoes, I somehow very weirdly managed to put money aside.

Sweet Jesus, what have I become? I’m scared, but I’ll get over it (more maturity, that’s just wonderful)

27’s glaring at me, but I feel no fear. Bring it on I say, the best is yet to come.

Happy Birthday.

As if he were singing to me…

Right, so I have a slight tendency to be obsessive. Like, when I was 12 and had just discovered Oasis, I decided that I will be in love with Liam Gallagher for all eternity and that I had to listen to “What’s the Story? Morning Glory” two thousand times before my mother threathened to destroy my CD player and, just to be on the safe side,to go to Manchester to kill aformentionned beloved Liam so she wouldn’t have to listen to another “because maybeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you’re gonna be the one that saves meeeeeeeeee” one more time.

That’s how bad I was. And please don’t get me started on my Bob Dylan phase. I wanted to reverse time and become Suze Rotolo so that I could be the one on the Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan cover.

See, I told you. Obsessive.

Alas! Time has not made any improvment to my disorder, and I’m happily as obsessive as ever, except maybe now I’ve come to terms with the fact that I don’t necessarily need to be in love with a musician to listen to the same record over and over and over again. And then a bit more. I’m not a teenager anymore (Thanks Jesus Christ and all his angels and all his saints for good measure, Hell must be a pleasant place next to living with teenage angst, but that’s not our current point).

It usually takes me a while before full fledged obsession kicks in. I usually start off being quite normal, like, ooohh nice song I like it.

Then, if the song is really good, something happens.

Exhibit1 : First time I listened to Wonderwall, I was like, boy this Mancunian needs a hair cut. Then something in Liam’s electric voice triggered something inside of me, a sadness, a melancholy (yes, more teenage angst) and I was as good as done.

Exhibit2: First Bob Dylan song: All I really want to do, I really thought this had to be a joke. Somebody who sang so out of key probably needed to be a genius. And what a genius. Bob’s still my friend for the nights when I can’t sleep, I don’t even need to play his records, my brain’s has recorded them all.

So first time I listened to Shadi Zaqatan and Friends, I enjoyed their music, thought the lyrics were deep, moving, interesting.

But that was about it really.

Then, one day, I just paid a little more attention to one song in particular, Bshoufek fil Balad, and that’s when it happened. The lyrics, Zaqatan’s voice, so deep and pure, the song transformed into a love letter, an aching one, a one where you wanted so badly to talk to the person but simply couldn’t.

I’ve been listening non stop to the record for two days in a row now, and have no plans in stopping. The songs speak to me now, to some hidden chord inside of me that understands the love for one’s land, the anger and the hope.

My obsession and I are old friends now, we’re like an old couple, too into one another for me to be wanting to get rid of it.

PS: I’m obsessive yet generous, here’s the song, please like it so we can all be obsessed together