It has taken me a lot to get to this point, right here, now, up at 6am and tapping away on my keyboard.
An older me would have struggled, struggled, struggled with trying to go back to bed. I would have kicked the sheets and sighed and felt angry for not being able to sleep. I would have tried to force myself to dream, or made myself think of nothing. I would have tried to be everywhere that I was—which was to be awake.
An older me would also have felt a hundred other things about the person I should be, could be, would have been if only…
I was clearing out junk again the other day (because I have endless amounts of it) when I came across a stack of old photographs—the printed kind on real, proper photo paper, not the digital, untouchable, unfeelable kind. There I was, seven years younger, 20pounds smaller, the most gorgeous version of me there’s ever been.
So I mulled over it for quite a long while wishing, hoping, wanting to be there again.
I wished I was 24 again, with the world ahead of me.
I wished I was that cuter, smaller, frivolous version of me again.
I wished I had that indefatigable sense again of being able to do everything and nothing all at the same time.
I wish, I wish, I wish.
Then I worried:
What old colleagues would say if they knew where I was now and what I was doing.
What old boyfriends would think when they saw the now-bigger-now-fleshier-me.
What my own 24-year-old self would have thought if she met the 32-year-old me now.
I needed to pee right about then. The anxieties weighed heavy on every part of me, even my bladder. So I stepped into my cramped little bathroom, spilling over with all sorts of things. And there I was again (wherever you go, there you are—hah) framed in that all-familiar mirror.
In the tiniest of moments, glimpsing me as me, I realised, I am right where I should be.
I am just the size my body wants it to be right now, I am exactly joyful of the fact that I’m balanced between so many amazing writing jobs at the same time, I am grateful for age (including the telltale freckles on my face) and the little baby wisdoms that have come through the years, I am pleased with precisely the people who are in my life right now (especially the ‘old’ ones that have made sudden reappearances and then stayed.)
I am, I realised winking at my own beautiful, fleshy, contented, slightly surprised reflection, right where I should be.