'Age is just a number' - a phrase which stands strong in saying that anything can be achieved at any point of your life. It is also used to console the 'fear' of another year passing or reaching a particular milestone, it could be that of 21, 60, 18 or 40.
Just as the ages above vary, so do the reactions of individuals in how they deal with the inevitable. Almost unbelievably as I prepared this blog throughout the day between work and meetings I overheard and saw true, raw insights into how people were dealing and viewing their age. I will share with you throughout the body of this blog.
I'm sure we all have that one friend or relative who puts a ban on any mention of said age or celebrations. Society can be all too quick to deem this as denial, even vanity, but how do we know this doesn't stem deeper to perhaps an embarrassing or bad previous experience?
There are those who feel liberated by the turning of age- an approach which I feel I fall into as I wait to turn 30. Phrases such as '30's are the new 20's' have become as well known as 'blondes have more fun'.
Then there are those who face another turning of year indifferently. A guy beside me in a meeting room casually said to his friend "That's me 31 now... It really was just like any other day" Part of me feels sad that people don't want to celebrate but what says they should?
I'm curious as to how much influence society, lifestyle and media have on people's floundering opinions. Is it something they have control over or are controlled by?
I think it's fair to say that birthdays create a surge of expectation from the get go- as a child hoping your birthday party will reach the approval of other children and will be deemed fun. As I mentioned above a traumatising experience could put anyone off the notion of birthday celebrations for a lifetime.
So who or what is setting the bar for the above noted expectations? Is the media to blame for marketing birthdays like it's Christmas?
Or does society have a leading role in dedicating what the 'idealistic' celebrations are? Social media is at the forefront of this suggestion - be honest with yourself have you ever drawn comparisons to yourself and your life achievements to an online profile?
The chances are yes you have but remember social media rarely perceives true authentic reality.
I couldn't help but overhear a girl opposite me on the tube tell her friend "For someone who is so organised I really do feel like I am just drifting in life, I always imagined at 31 I would be settled and living in Australia." I could see sincere worry and feelings of failure in her eyes.
This lady's thoughts echo how from our first steps and first words there is an unsaid expectation to what should follow next in life.
As children we grow up watching Disney and reading fairy tales- the happy ever afters we become so accustomed to are those of falling in love, marriage and children all whilst being beautiful and youthful.
Rarely do they conclude of someone stepping outside this strategic way and embracing a new sense of life at an older age.
Therefore, we are almost guided into believing that essentially a 2.4 set up is the route to having succeeded in life.
I hear it all too often from friends who are in relationships, married or/and have kids that they are continually asked when they are getting engaged, moving in, having next baby. Why can society just not allow things to progress naturally?
Another girl, who was in a shop queue behind me was having a telephone conversation and said
"I'm not ready to be grown up, in my head I am no older than 21"
Of course, only naturally, responsibility comes with age, however it seems to me rather than focusing on the areas which she will love she instead feels overwhelmed by those she doesn't.
I do appreciate this is when lifestyle becomes a massive factor and not everyone is able to reject what they may wish to and still find themselves having full support.
Age IS just a number, society and the media do try to dedicate but I believe lifestyle is what has the biggest impact on creating not just our limitations but also fuelling our success and happiness.
Lucy Ellen :)