Tsunami, 59. Another Year.
I am a year older today.
I feel both young and old. I am past the half century mark, but I am still twenty-five. I suppose this happens to all of us; we don't feel we've aged as persons, only our physical body. Mentally, we're all teenagers.
Though not everyone, of course. Some people either don't remember what it was like to be young, or they don't want to remember. I remember. I still remember how I felt in those years, and how big the world seemed. When I danced and had fun, everything seemed so right, so perfect. This moment was the best, and life stretched out with more moments like this awaiting.
Now, I remember that feeling, but it's a little different. That feeling of years and years ahead of me is gone. It's one of the most heady feelings of existence, knowing that most of your life is still ahead of you. I still enjoy those raucous moments, but with the knowledge that I won't have that many in my future. It's made me more cautious, which is one of the most obvious signs of aging. I still enjoy life, but it has become more precious.
Sometimes, I feel I am psychologist to some of my English students, especially the teenagers. I have always tried to keep an open mind as a mother, and that has helped me remember my childhood and adolescence, and what I felt then. I understand these kids, because youth doesn't change, only the outside trappings of fashion and technology. Since they see me as unjudgmental, unlike their parents, they sometimes tell me their secrets and ask for advice. Oh, those years when the simple look of the guy upon whom I had a crush sent me into the clouds! Setting aside irregular verbs and the present perfect, sometimes, when I talk with them I feel like my adolescence was yesterday. Those doubts, those fears, those loves, those insecurities. Nothing was grey then, but black or white. Something that was good was wicked good. Something bad meant the world was about to end for all time.
What I do like about getting older is learning perspective. Getting older means that black and white become muted greys. It means that the importance of the small things becomes greater, and that life doesn't consist of great events, but of daily laughs and giggles, sometimes of daily frustrations and angers. The bad things make the good things look even better. With time, you realize you need some of those bad things, otherwise you don't appreciate the good. It's like in art; you need darks to make the lights sing.
Today, so far, has been a part of the good. The weather is beautiful, more like late May than March. I went out this morning and treated myself, with the latest Andrea Camilleri book published in English, though not his last, a pretty, inexpensive Waterman pen, and a fan brush to use with my pastels. This morning, my daughter gave me her present, a pretty notebook and a book by Andrea Camilleri which I already have, though mine is in English, La forma dell'acqua. It's in Italian, which will be a challenge. But, my knowledge of Spanish and Galician, my quasi-knowledge of French, and my past contact with Latin, makes it attainable. Already, I find I understand some things without need of looking up a word, such as a description of a ruined building: "...sempre più simili all'architettura di un Gaudí in preda ad allucinogeni."
I have my suspicions about my husband. He has something up his sleeve, though it will be something non-monetary because it's been that kind of month. I don't care. I've stopped fussing over my birthday a long time ago. What counts now is the love I receive from everyone. That has no price, and is one of the best things life can give.