I can remember a time, not so many years ago, when anybody over the age of twenty seemed ancient. I would categorise all adults in the same box, they were all just old people, with whom I had nothing in common. I, however, have now finally reached the fine old age of twenty-six myself. The time has come to tick that other box, I am no longer allowed in the eighteen to twenty-five box, I have ventured into the twenty-five and overs.
It sounds strange to say that I am in my late twenties. It sounds even stranger to say that I now feel like I have much more in common with the over twenty-fives than the youngsters of today. Perhaps this is due to the path that my life has led since I became ill. Sometimes I truly believe that some people would probably not go through what I have been through in an entire lifetime, let alone in a few years. Whatever the case, there have been several occasions in recent weeks where I have found my ability to relate to those older than me.
There is the time that I spent with one of my best and most inspiring friends Sandra. Sandra is old enough to be my Mum, but we never run out of interesting things to talk about and I feel like I can be completely myself around her. With her, I don’t feel like there is any age difference at all.
Then there is lunch club. This fortnightly occasion allows those of the older generation to get out of their lonely homes and come down to the Old School to have some soup along with a good old natter. It is run by groups of volunteers, and the week I helped just so happened to be the week that my old primary school teacher was volunteering. Who would imagine that we would be working together in such an environment, helping old people (seeing as I always used to think of him as being old nearly two decades ago!)?
And of course, there is the time I spend with my grandparents. Staying with my Granny in Henley is one of my favourite pastimes, she is one of those women that everyone knows and loves, the social butterfly that is invited to all the parties and when she gets there is the life and soul. I am also lucky enough to have two more remarkable Grandparents who always take it upon themselves to make the long trip down to Devon every year to celebrate my Birthday. Every year I grow older; the more I appreciate the time I spend with them all, and the more I feel we have in common.
Something that I have learnt, especially over the rollercoaster of the last few years, is that age is just a number. Sometimes the people that have the oldest age are in actual fact the youngest at heart.
So, really, turning twenty-six doesn’t make me ancient. It just means I have to tick that other box, and have even more in common with even more people.