Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Age Old Question

Today I was confronted by a fact.
I was proverbially slapped in the face by it.
A giant big wallop that left me reeling for hours afterwards.
To be frank, I'm still in shock.

This brutal and unforgiving fact was...
I'm not getting any younger.

'Well, duh!' you say.
All I can do is look at you, my mouth opening and closing in disbelief like a giant carp out of water.

Let me put this all in context for you, dear reader.

I've been enjoying what I call age-bitchiness all week.
I have been foolishly teasing older people with my fewer collective years.
For the record I am 20.

These older folk have been reminiscing in front of me, saying things like 'In 1994, when I'd just finished high school...' they then temporarily pause and look over at me, furrowing their brow as a sign they are trying to calculate my age.
I am quite age deceptive, believe it or not.
Apparently I come across as a 'mature' individual and am often mistaken for someone who is somewhere in her mid to late twenties...*scoffs*.

I, the age-bitch, will innocently reply 'Oh, in 1994 I was four'. Teamed with a sickly sweet smile this line  can be the equivalent to a knock in the goolies.

Faces morph from perky and happy to aged and worn.
Stomachs do the Rubix Cube and twists around and in on themselves.
Rosy complexions swap their youthful vitality for a gray pallor not unlike death.

It's rather amusing to watch. That is until it happens to you.

I've been tied up in all the excitement of turning 21 and planning my grand party to welcome in my adulthood that I completely and utterly forgot that I actually was becoming an adult.

When do I officially stop being young?

Well this question was answered for me today. And the answer is NOW.

I was working at The Age Career Expo in Melbourne, helping to promote my old school as a preferred institute of learning for all those young, creative whipper snappers out there.
During my lunch break I went for a wander around the Expo and found The Age Newspaper's stall. Being a journalism graduate a certain level of opportunism resides deep within the core of my being and so I made a B-line straight to the exhibitors to chat about writing for the Age.
Apparently The Age has a special opportunity running at the moment for YOUNG writers to write for the paper.
Without hesitation I went and signed myself up for this. However, I was halted when I was asked for my age. As I read down the list of people who had previously signed up it dawned on me the median age was 17.

My darling (yet occasionally non-functional) brain quickly reassured me that I was still able to apply for this.  I was only 18 after all.
Finally my brain caught up with itself and scowled at it's profound miscalculation.
I was 20.
As in the 20 that is three years older than 17.
The 20 that is no longer considered a 'teenage' year.
THE 20.
The cusp of adulthood.

Well hello aged and worn expression, sick stomach and deathly pallor.

I looked up from the sign up sheet and came eye to eye with the exhibitors. My mouth pulled tight into a grimace I revealed to them what I then felt was my most guarded secret.

"Hi" I croaked, my voice breaking into a high pitched whine. 'At least I sound like a teenager' commented my sarcastic brain.
"Hello" said the male exhibitor.
I willed for myself to flash a toothy grin but only managed a very contrived closed mouth smile.
"Hi, how can we help you?" the female exhibitor said, gently trying to coax me into getting to the point.
"Ummm, well I've just graduated from a J-J-Journalism course and I was interested in doing some, uh, some, oh... uh, some... writing. For The Age. I saw this. Umm, erh it says you have to be young. And, well I also noticed uh, that everyone is 17. Thing is I'm not 17..."
At this point I caught myself wringing my hands and prematurely flinching just waiting for the punch in the guts I had queued up and waiting for myself.
My inner voice interrupted my observations, 'Say it like you're ripping a band-aid off, do it quickly.'
"... I am...uhh. I-I-I... I'm 20."

In the wonderland that is my warped perception of the world I saw these two older-than-me people visibly recoil at this last statement. It was as if I had just shown them a stool sample from some adventurer who was suffering dysentery.

I certainly didn't.
Not at all.
I just told them how OLD I was.
I didn't tell them my age.
I told them how old and not young I was.

I must have looked horrified as they both recomposed themselves enough to reassure me that 20 was still sort of young. The male exhibitor was the first to say something, "You might just want to send them an email when they contact you letting them know you are a graduate."
"Yeah" chimed in the female exhibitor.
"O-Ok" I whimpered. I grabbed the pen off the table and scribbled down my details. I snuck one last glance at the two exhibitors, thanked them for their time and ran away like a naughty child.

Only now has the irony hit me, I applied for The AGE newspaper.
It's all just a cosmic plot to screw with my elderly mind.
Well done, Cosmic Joker.

On a more meaningful and spiritual note, today has taught me we all get old and that Karma is a heavy-handed pimp that will happily smack you down with all the power of karmic accumulation.

Don't say I didn't warn you.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A clean house is the sign of a wasted life...

Let's be blunt.
I'm clean but I'm not tidy.
I enjoy a little mess here and there. It makes me feel like a human.

Huge amounts of joy amass in my soul when I see a precariously balanced stack of books. 
My heart sings when I see a jacket carelessly thrown over a chair.
I love post it notes that are stuck to all number of surfaces.

There is a certain perfection in chaos that orderliness can not recreate.

HOWEVER (yes, capitals are necessary. I am making a declaration that my parents will want to print off and make me sign as a contract) there is a time and there is a place for this delightful mayhem.

The times and places are NOT...

7.30am, 20 minutes before my bus is due and I am still searching for my bra.

7.35am, 15 minute before my bus is due and I am frantically looking for my phone.

7.45am, 5 minutes before my bus is due and I am hysterical because I cannot find my keys and I look like a crack whore because I'm not wearing any make up and my hair is a tangled teased mess.

Apparently life is beautiful.

That's why I am cleaning up and cleaning out.
A conscientious effort to restore order to my dangerously unordered life.

I need not look like a junkie in the morning! I can be a together individual, prepped and ready for an exciting day. Everything I need, locatable and ready for action!

So on those rushed mornings when my alarm goes off late and am rudely awaken from romantic dream where I am swimming in the nude in a gently bubbling stream with Edward Norton (how awesome is that dream?!?!) the first word from my mouth isn't an expletive.

I can sit down and enjoy a nutritious breakfast instead of shoveling in my mouth an ashy bit of burnt toast followed by a Metamucil chaser that I can only pray will substitute for the dose of fiber I am missing out on.

That's the reason why I am going all Buffy on my wardrobe and slaying the crap out of it.
That's the reason why I am chucking wads of meaningless scrawled notes in the recycling bin.
That's the reason why I am dressed only in my underwear and have strapped cans of polish and pine-o-clean to my body and wearing dusting mits on my hands.

Yup, I'm bringing sexy back.

This is all in a hopes that I can focus less on the where abouts of my so-and-so's and focus more on what I want to do that day, that week... this life.

This is the last, desperate attempt on my behalf to get myself running in top gear. Be efficient and on top of my game.

I want to be great, I want to be amazing and I doubt I can do that when I can't even track down my keys.

Life is too short to hunting for clean knickers on a daily basis.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Nurture Vs Nature

Today I was confronted by a rather large March fly at my desk at work.
When I say 'rather large' I am of course being stoic in regards to the whole situation.
This thing was a monster.
Like, huge.
Needless to say I freaked out appropriately.

Caught completely unawares, my jaw slackened allowing my mouthful of soup to do as it pleased, which incidentally was dribble down my chin.

I grabbed all my belongings and moved them farthest away from this flying germ-infested blood sucker and huddled near them, frightened witless clutching my cup of lukewarm soup.

It could've totally eaten my face off.

Better yet, it could've pierced my eyes out with it's biting bits and laid it's babies in my eye sockets to feed on my brains as they hatched into wiggly larvae.

Oh, this was indeed most awful.

Before you dismiss me as a pansy/ princess/ sook, I beg you to consider my point of view.

I grew up in Melbourne suburbia, where the nastiest insect around was a daddy long legs.
Insects weren't and never really will be part of my joie de vivre.

I wasn't the kind of kid that had butchy boys tangled through my hair or a handful of worms.
It just didn't do it for me.

However, there was a time, many moons ago, when I had my own caterpillar pet I had met in the school playground. That was until one morning I woke up, looked at it and freaked the hell out! I let it free in the backyard where my cat promptly devoured it. I do still have nightmares about my (unintentionally) callous act.

The way I see it is we've been so out of touch with nature, with the things that just lived. They are doing what every cell in their body is programmed to do.
Make babies.

Just doing innate stuff.

Here we are, with our pressed pants, perfect hair dos and little minds and not before long we are a bumbling mess all because a spider crawled across our hand.
It's only scary cause we aren't out there, amongst it all.
We are so far removed of what we were, what we came from, who we are instinctually.

We aren't looking at these fascinating little critters surviving the daily battles of life.

Instead we come armed with Mortein and Aeroguard, spraying the crap out of every airspace making it so thick with aerial droplets that you could drink the killer cocktail straight from the sky.

I understand they can be scary, but that's cause have more than the usual number of legs.
I understand they sometimes suck your blood, but you'd have no issues if it was Edward Cullen.
I understand sometimes they crawl across your face and in your mouth during the wee hours of the morning, but that's just because THEY LOVE YOU!

Don't be an arachnophobic, be an arachnophillic!

I mean, we have lots in common...

See, lots!!

Despite the urgent panic deep within you when you see a cockroach scuttle by, just try and force a smile and resist the overwhelming urge to jump all over the critter.

Not good karma. Not at all.

Instead, inspect this little guy, from afar. Try to work out how this little bugger will survive the apocalypse whilst your toasted corpse disintegrates. At least that's what I eventually tried to do with Mr March Fly.

I looked at his enormous iridescent eyes and saw affection. I looked at his long black hairy legs and saw an athlete.I looked at his shiny shiny wings and saw flight, something I could never achieve.

He looked at me and saw a giant mouth with huge vibrations escaping it, making a string of words.He saw a bouncy mass of brown curls.He saw my awesome outfit I chose to wear today and he was like, 'Dang girl, if only you were a March Fly'

Through these observations of each other came a mutual understanding. An acceptance.
And for 5 hours, we were friends.
He watched me and I watched him (partly to keep tabs on his whereabouts).
For now.