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Happy Valentine’s Day, Ms. Valentine…and Some Thoughts on My ‘Real’ Age

Posted by on 14 February 2008

heart Today is Valentine’s Day and it’s also the birthday of a good friend of mine, LittleMsFirefly. She was born on Valentine’s Day and, you guessed it, her middle name is Valentine. She and I go a looong way back — I used to draw clothes for her paper dolls — and now she’s all grown up and married (!). Just thinking about it makes me feel kinda old.

Notice how I used the word ‘kinda’. Because deep down inside, I still feel like the idealistic, naive 20-year old that I was when I was fresh from university and not yet exposed to the harsh realities of “the real world”. I still feel the same eagerness and the same hope with each new day. I still harbour a sense of daring when faced with the opportunity to try out new things. And yeah, I still play computer games ;)

But at the same time, the trials and sorrows that I’ve gone through for the past 15 years have moulded me into an entirely different person. I’m now stronger, less naive, more practical, a bit cynical, even wary at times. I feel like an old soul in a younger woman’s body.

And when I started having children, I’ve become more flexible, I’ve changed my priorities and I’m rediscovering the joys of simple things with them — playing with bubbles, sharing an ice cream cone, gazing at clouds. And yes, I play with them a lot. We play computer games and board games, we play with home-made Play Dough, I even do impromptu races with them (“Last one to the car is a rotten egg!“). I remember my children telling me at one time, “Mama, you are just like us!” And they’re right. I do feel like a kid sometimes :)

The Cuban-French author, Anais Nin, sums up beautifully exactly how I feel about ageing. She said:

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

And if I’m to believe what this site says, my real age is actually 13.3!!! ;)

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