Sunday, April 18, 2010

:: old when ::

it occurs to me now: you're not old until you start thinking obsessively about your past.

which is to say i'm officially old.

i can't stop looking at pictures of myself from my early twenties. myself and brian. we look so un-tired. so confident. and even though at the time i felt like a big mess and like my whole life was one big series of identity crises, i look at those pictures and just think how me i was back then.

i pulled one out to show brian and he said, "we were both so much more fashionable then." which is decidedly not true. we weren't fashionable then and we're not fashionable now. in the picture we're both wearing jeans. i've got a somewhat loose long-sleeved t-shirt on and a blue zip-up hoodie. brian's wearing a black EMS fleece jacket. and that's it. we're dressed like normal generic twenty-somethings in normal generic clothes.

but somehow he's right. we look more fashionable. maybe it's just that we look like we actually took six minutes to select our clothes. and our clothes reflected our personalities and not our vocations (brian looked in his closet the other day and shuddered: it's filled with suits and ties) or our utter lack of time, money, and interest (how many decidedly machine-washable fleece pullovers can one mom own, anyway. i've got five. no six...).

i so cannot believe how nostalgic i am for those clothes and that time. i always thought that people in their thirties who couldn't stop thinking about their so-called youths were either unhappy or had too much time to sit and think about the past, but now i know that's not it. it's just that the past is what helps us remember who we are in the present. it helps us when we're so tired that we can't think straight (brian somehow accidentally put his wallet in the junk drawer one day last week and turned the house upside down -- even the fridge -- looking for it). it helps us feel grounded. it helps us know who we were before we were parents and lawyers and whatever else we are now. it helps us remember to take just a little bit of time -- a moment here or there -- to do the things we used to like to do.

i don't want to dwell in the past but it sure is a nice place to visit every now and then.


Bea April 19, 2010 at 8:46 AM  

My experience has been that when your youngest turns three, yet get an astonishing amount of your old self back. Everything except that glowy, youthful beauty.