Advice to a recent Twentian.

You’re full of a cold today, which I suppose you could see as a summing up of the winter period in which you perhaps unwisely chose to be born. This is a significant age for you to be entering into, departing from the iconic ‘teens’ into somewhat more vague terrain. Feelings are mixed as to how you can sculpt this occasion into something worthwhile. I tell you, perhaps a realistic common cold is a most helpful tool to teach and remind you of the realities of life upon this earth (this life of which you are by now most likely to be more than a fifth through.)

Have you heard or experienced that clichéd story of a child reaching a certain age and suddenly somehow feeling that they are  no longer as excited as they once were? The ‘magic’ or maybe more accurately the ‘fuzziness’ has gone. The pop-up picture pages become practical cook books and helpful biographies; the Manchester United football shirt becomes an itchy jumper and a Birthday Card which looks like it was printed in the mid to late 70’s. You take your wallet out of the back pocket of your jeans and realise that actually; you could have bought these things yourself anyway.

However, this isn’t how you should choose to spend your neuros (brain cell currency), that would be a far too easy an option. Ambition once again leaps onto your back and decides that she wants you to rule the world, to change the world, to move the world, to re-imagine the world, to escape the world, to become the world, and you will be the first! Minor feelings of regret are suppressed by the ever alluring Mrs. A and with her song of optimisity, she turns them from stone to silver, whilst all the while, wrestling her very self. Guzzling diet pills in order to keep the unfortunate realism mind, “you can’t do everything Master, but we’ll sure as heaven try!”

Resolutions, decisions and commitments are made for your God. The thought frightens you slightly, when you give the time to think about it; He’s the Spirit who knows which birthday will be your very last. Oh and by the way, it could be this one.

Don’t you dare go forgetting how popular you are, and don’t brush off those 46 facebook messages as ‘just courtesy’; individuals have made specific efforts to remember you or at least be reminded of your existence. It’s a compliment to you that they feel you are come-at-able, receptive and positively usable enough for them to quickly drop by with their cheery consolations and condolences.

You got two, three… you ended up getting at least five cards in the post today and you know full well that unless the world ends or the postmen go on strike, you’ll get a couple more in the next few days. Stop looking at them as symbols of duty, rather prop them up on your mantle piece sleeve, and wear them.

As for the wrapped up moments, you know full well that you are far too blessed. Your wife is a one-step prancing dream! Did you know she has a PhD in ‘you-studies’, she sends you a delightfully simple yet reassuringly captivating SMS, with just enough x’s to show she cares.

Knock knock. Who’s there? Your Grandmother. Your Grandmother who? Your Grandmother who loves you with a big hug and words which mean more than they mean. She only wishes your other relatives could be here with you; those ones in motorway towns, B-road villages and gold-paved cities.

Ring ring.  Who’s there? Your family back home. Your family too? They sing in shreeky shouts that melt into embracatory thuds which in turn, you swallow and taste and indulge and put on like loud-speaking ear muffs that resonate respect and racoon red reverence (and love).

You’ll be closing your eyes soon, ready for the normal days, the average days, the less than cool days, the actually rather brilliant days, the close to God days, the lost sheep days, the sickly tempered days, the last days, the thirst day,  the first day, that Thursday.

Let Papa God give Mrs. A, a leg up onto your hunchback, she’ll take you on that future trip to actual events that won’t happen because in reality, they’ll be better, they’ll overflow with answers. Introduce Mrs. A to Mr. P; the conspiratating communicatron, he checks with upper deck and pleads with Captain G to let it be O.K. But even when it’s not O.K., it P.J., one day you’ll be sailing down the life canalbum and you’ll think, “I’m glad I wasn’t in charge.”

* Mrs. A. M. Bishon.

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