9 February 2015

The agony of 33

Luckily or unluckily depending on your point of view, I have never been bothered by age.  I don't have magical numbers by which certain things should be ticked off a life list.  I spend my life in a state of angst and bewilderment which kicked in at 17 and has never really gone away.

I have never felt the siren call of my biological clock or the marching boots of an ideal marriage age. I feel no impetuous to pay off a house so I can retire young and don't really see a life where retirement features so have no burning desire to get to 65 or 150 depending on who is Treasurer.  Of course I wanted to turn 18 so I could fully immerse myself in adulthood which loosely translates as buy my own booze as it does for most.

The only other year which loomed large was 33.

Perhaps it's my Catholic upbringing which started me thinking. Who knows.  But there is plenty written about how Jesus had gone and saved the world AND got himself not one but three public holidays before he turned 34.

The year I turned 33 I finished up a belated student year, discovered I was allergic to penicillin, moved back to Australia and spent at least six weeks living in a house with no furniture.  The signs were not good for me making my mark before I turned 34.

Things haven't changed much since then except for the furniture.

Scarlett in Four weddings and a Funeral
John Belushi, Eva Braun, Van Gough, Wolfgang von Trips, Big Moe, Big Mello, Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, Roland Ratzenberger, Eva Cassidy, Charlotte Coleman, Bon Scott, Karen Carpenter, Stephen Gately, William Kingdon Clifford, Chris Farley.  The 33 years might not have been pretty but they were memorable - sometimes history making.

Why does nobody warn you about 33?  It kind of creeps up on you, whispers 'excuse me' and when you turn to say hi, it punches you in the throat.

And yet - despite the ferocity of anxiety and that vague foreboding feeling that I was not Carpe Diem-ing with the appropriate vigour, I did nothing to make my mark on the world stage.

I had no ill fated romances with genocidal dictators or hard drugs.  I didn't invent anything or crack a mathematical code. I didn't discover a previously dormant talent for singing or declare myself head of a doomsday cult.

It was an ordinary year with some wonderful highlights such as becoming engaged to my beautiful man, a new niece and a new job. 34 ticked over and I was still not famous and most definitely not dead.

And just like that the feeling that life was getting away from me had gone. It's strange on reflection that 33 loomed large when Fauja Singh didn't get off his arse to make the history books until he was in his 90s.
My husband turned 33 on the weekend and he seems to have entered it without any of the appropriate angst.  No worry line burnt into his forehead overnight, no hunched shoulders or waxen pallor indicating an inner turmoil around what he is going to achieve before he turns 34.

But it's okay, I'm comforted by the fact that 40 is going to burn for him.

Like really burn. Right?

What year loomed large for you?

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