If you can’t go back, where the hell do you go?*

Of late, I’ve been having conversations about missed opportunities, and reading blog
posts about nostalgia, and journeying back through my Itunes and it’s all made me think, think and
then sit up and go ‘you know what, I
 AM old’. And I am not sure I like it.

I get this
horrible feeling that life has sort of passed me by a little bit. Not in the
‘I’ve not lived’ way** but more in a ‘I’ve not lived enough and I think I am too old to do it now’

And I thought this was meant to hit you when you turned 30. Maybe
it’s hitting me a little late. Or maybe it’s the friends I keep, putting these
thoughts in my head, even if they don’t mean to and it’s just through their
actions. Maybe it’s the fact they are all slowly but surely moving in different
directions and I am not sure which way to go – I know I am too old*** to stay up
raving all night, but I am not ready to stop trying every so often. I am definitely
not ready for kids, but I am not terrified of them like I used to be. I am
doing a proper job, but sometimes I feel like I’ll get found out for just being
a kid! Maybe it’s the fact that this year we have one or two free weekend’s between
now and July and I don’t like that my life is getting all planned out? Whatever it is, it’s making me listen to 90’s brit pop and wish I had thought through my 20’s a little bit better.

And then there is the list of things I’d like to do, but will get looked at ‘funny’ for attempting these days – like ride a bike really fast down a hill, and move to the
seaside and learn to surf and running away to the other side of the world with no consequences. 

Does anyone else get these pangs? These feelings that maybe you ought to have done more, or just done more sensibly? 

Family Friend – The Vaccines
** Yes, I ran away to the south of France to sail, and had winters’ mountains
to snowboard, and then there was that summer in Miami – but I want more of them.

***I have older friends who can stay up raving, but me, I can’t. By
5am I need a nap!


  1. And here was me thinking I was the only one having these exact sorts of thoughts – it started maybe 2 or 3 months ago in earnest, but in a similar way, like a big WHAM! We're older now, with different responsibilities/considerations, and we can't just up and do whatever you want any more. And that we're approaching 40 now. And that you can't turn back time. That's the big one for me – i will never ever again be able to retrieve those days. I know they weren't perfect and I wouldn't necessarily WANT to live through it all again, but knowing that the choice is not there is a bit of a biggie. Knowing that our kids are going to roll their eyes at the stories we tell them, but where we actually WERE cool, and we DID do exciting things – to them we're just going to seem so lame.

    I get it.

    But I don't know how to get over it!

  2. Yes, yes. And yes again. Thank you for writing this! I know exactly how you feel, especially about the staying up all night and taking advantage of still being (relatively) young. With 30 coming up very soon, I often worry that I'm not taking enough advantage of still being able to do things like going out and dancing to the wee sma's, even though it's harder and harder these days and most of the time I'm content to be in bed by 1am. And with friends having children and moving onto the next stage of their lives, I worry that everything is changing too fast and I didn't take enough advantage of the days when we could do what we wanted, when we wanted, without commitments and work and other things getting in the way. I definitely didn't appreciate the time at university enough, when everyone was in the same place and we could just call each other up and head down the pub whenever we felt like it, rather than needing to sort things out at least a week in advance.

    We also have all our weekends booked up since the middle of March until the first week of May, which is lovely as we have some fab things to go to, but also bad as it cuts off the chance to do anything on the spur of the moment (which really bugs S). It's actually got to the stage where we've put a ban on organising anything in June and July, just so we can be spontaneous (although most of our friends are in the same position so I doubt that there will be anyone to be spontaneous with!).

    So I'm very glad to hear someone else articulate the same worries and feelings I have.

    But you are never too old to ride a bike really fast.

  3. I couldn't agree more. I've never had a proper job and I often doubt I ever will, I really don't think I will even with my two degrees. I often think I wasted my years getting them because they never got me anywhere. I'm 25 and I feel my life is very stuck and all my old school friends are in that having babies stage. But we don't have our weekends booked up and because I can't work all the weeks just merge into each other and feels very samey and stuck. Makes me feel like life is passing me by but I can't really stop it.

  4. I have pangs ALL the time! I think it's normal and shows you haven't settled or are not too old:) I like to think of all the things people didn't accomplish until they were much, much older, like the guy who invented Top Ramen, he didn't do that until he was 70! And then he became a billionaire! Lucille Ball didn't 'make it' until she was 42! Back then 42 in show biz was ANCIENT! You still have time to accomplish and experience so many things. I often look back and wondered why I thought I was so old to do something when I was 25, 30, 35…I was SO young!

  5. I am so glad that it's not just me, and there are people out there that feel like this.
    I do honestly know that 31 isn't old old, but when i think of the chances i didn't take and the chances i cant get back it makes we wonder what could have been.

    Lizzy – I think it was the convo in your kitchen making the soup that started me going. And we ARE cool! Tres cool. way cooler than any of our kids will be. Promise.

    Helen – I think one of my problems is maybe I did take advantage of heading down the pub at uni – too much, and maybe missed out of some of the cooler things I could have done 😉 And maybe I ought to buy a bike.

    Rachael – Look at that massive leap you have made. It's that sort of jump that I am talking about. I ought to have made more of them. I am jealous of you for it!

    Miss B – Thank you – I am going to hold on to that 1st line when I feel old and unsettled from now on. And I am going to find me some old accomplished people to look up to!


  6. I feel your pain, or rather your pangs. I'm a few years older than you, and recently I have started to feel this way myself. However, I have come to realize that I can't compare my life to those around me. My life is what I make of it, and I can't go back in time and rewrite the past. A good run never fails to snap me out of a funk. I also find that documenting my life using Project Life (by the way, I love your PL pages) helps me gain some perspective and realize that I mean something to my family and my friends.

    I hope you start to feel better soon! I'm sure it's just a phase and will pass.

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