Recently, my Facebook feed has been ripe with sweet memories and old treasure diggings like never before. This is a welcomed change over the usual algorithm randomness it typically presents me with, so yeah, Facebook, keep up the (recent) good work.
The memories. They’ve ranged from a trip to Scotland with my scouts’ group when I was only 18 years old, all the way from Portugal on a bus (who does this??), to an in-nephew I haven’t seen since he was three years old because breakups and long distance and that, with a little pit stop on a photo of my childhood beach. All reminding me about the passing of time and leaving me to feel nostalgic and old and yet so happy for what was.
There’s this amazing woman I found on Instagram who was only this week talking about time and how we, women, end up forced into this race against it. She shared a beautifully written post by Amy Herzog which discussed wrinkles and neck things and how those things are ultimately a wonderful part of who we are.
In my recent trips down memory lane, I too have found time has given me wrinkles and white hairs and roots and a cuddlier softness (or was that the baby?) and yet none of those things matter beyond the visible story they tell. Those changes carry all the good (and bad, yes) of the past 20 years and I’m very grateful for those years. To have had years. To have lived them, sometimes merely breathing from one day to the next but much more often, to have lived passionately and fully.
The hair roots, much more than the white hairs which I actually really like, seem to be the thing I focus on. I wonder if it’s because my wrinkles are not yet deep enough or because I can pop to the hairdresser and get it 'fixed' instantly. I wonder about the days ahead and how I will embrace the next 20 years; will they feel like a sweet collection of moments or also a loss of bits of me, frozen forever in each of the years I pass on my way to old age? I don't know yet. The one thing I do know is that I very much want to be on this journey!
And. I hope I’m as kind to my future self as I am to my young one. There was an innocence in me, in all of us, right?, a sweetness that makes me have a lot of time for the youth of today and tomorrow, an innocence that makes me want to hold young people’s hands and have open and understanding conversations about what they’re going through. Love will never be quite as fresh. Skin will never be quite as smooth. And time will never be quite as slow moving. But that's a conversation for another post.
Photo: it makes sense here because it's part of my memory stash… my life in Oxford started at this train station and it was here I met some of the most important people in my life.