A few days ago I celebrated my 26th birthday. Technically JG and I did not really celebrate it since we spent the day at home as in any normal day. The best JG can do in the kitchen is boil water at push the microwave buttons, and since it’s my prerogative if I wanted to cook or not (that day being my day), I chose to be lazy. Hey it’s my party and I’ll cook if I want to. So nothing big. We did treated the Embassy staff to a variety of grilled sea food, so that was the most of the party that I had since they are the closest to family that we have here in Libya.
This year will be a memorable one, since this will be my first birthday away from home. Despite it being commemorated in the mentioned simple manner, it will still go down as one of the significant ones since the fact that I am away from everything that I am used to makes it different, therefore special.
Anyway, in a more philosophical train of thought, I cannot help but get over the fact that I am now 26. It’s not an issue of getting old, the problem is, I don’t feel it – getting older that is. The last time I felt the signs of maturity was when I was sixteen, when I realized and accepted that it is best that my parents were better off separated anyway; the same year the first and last time I had my heart broken by a boy which in hindsight wasn’t good enough anyway (thank God I listened to my mother). When I celebrated my birthday that year, I felt a sense of knowing, an upgrade within myself, a better understanding of things and my surroundings.
Problem is, ten years later, I seem to have been stuck. I had this idea of myself, ten years ago, that since wisdom comes with age, I would be rid of everything I hate about my self as I get older. However, I feel a bit frustrated, because if my present self would be in an malfunctioned elevator with my sixteen year old self, she”d probably be shocked to see that she (or I, or we) haven’t changed a bit. She would probably be appalled that I still bite my nails, talk non-stop, and most importantly gained a lot of weight. She/I would have hoped that she/I would have at least have a little bit of grace or some poise. I can hear her asking, “Are you filthy rich? Did we become a famous writer?”, and I’d be standing there with an apologetic look on my face.
Nevertheless, as soon as she gets over the extra weight and the lack of success in our dreams of writing glory, she would probably be happy to know that we will get lucky in love with a nice, intelligent, honorable guy who would eventually open the doors of the world to us. I know for sure that she’d be proud of me for marrying smartly, and would definitely be ecstatic of the idea that she will have the chance to see the world – something we both thought would never be possible.
I will also tell her, that for what’s its worth, I/she at least did not turn out to be too jaded with life that we ended up being too serious, and lose that childlike wonder our mother always reminded us to maintain. I’ll be honest with her and tell her that she won’t be able to get over being a cry baby and a worry wart but she/I will learn to accept that about us, and find some solace that we did learn to express that part of ourselves in the right time and at the right place.
So yeah, it isn’t so bad I suppose, and knowing myself, she’d probably eventually tell me not to worry about it, and see that despite the slow effects of maturity on us, she would see that her future self will be happy, and all in all wouldn’t turn out so bad. But she’d probably tell me to watch my weight, and I’d probably quip that now that since she’s seen me, I’ll leave that up to her. And then she’d say, “You know I won’t”. And I would agree, after all no one knows her more than I do.