Saturday, November 23, 2013

Is age but a number?


Since I decided to quit my job last year and move to Paris, life has changed in several ways.

Before I moved here, I was always the younger one.

Growing up, I was not only the youngest in my family, but the youngest of all my cousins as well. This continued on throughout most of my life, especially once I finished my uni degree and started working. I guess that's what happens when you choose nursing as a profession and the average age is 45. Then when I moved to London, I was one of the youngest amongst all my friends and they would often mention I seemed much older than I was.

There was something special about being the young one, the one who was so wise and so adventurous at such a young age. Even when I moved back to Australia at 26 and people asked me when I was going to settle down, I never really felt uncomfortable about my age. Why should I?! I was so young and had everything to live for.

It wasn't until I moved to Paris that I started to really think about my age.

When I moved here, the curve shifted and suddenly, I had gone from being one of the youngest, to one of the oldest. It took me a while to adjust, not just because I felt so much older, but because of what I had sacrificed to be there. 

Since coming back and going back to school it has been the same readjustment all over again.

The people that I have become the closest with are in their early/mid twenties and whilst I love every minute with them, I can't help but feel like I am reliving some of my life all over again.

I stumbled across this funny little article on buzz feed about the best and worst years of your twenties and it made me laugh as most of it definitely rang true. There was especially a quote that I resonated with about being 28 that said: 

'28 is the year when you’re finally able to accept that no one actually “feels” like a grown-up and it’s OK that you don’t either.'

That is exactly how I felt at 28 and even more so now that I am 31.

I very much don't feel like 31 but then again, I most certainly don't feel like I am 21 either. My closest friend here is 22 and even though in many ways she is very young, she reminds me of what I was like when I was her age. She is wise beyond her years and has a lot to offer the world and me, but I feel like our friendship is actually an exception.

Being here amongst these younger people, I have really struggled to find where I fit in. Most of the time it doesn't come up, but when it comes to life experience, there is a clear difference. However, I feel like this life experience doesn't mean anything, instead, it sometimes just feels like I am doing this course 5 years too late.

I am constantly battling with who I know I am, against who I think I should be and it feels like I am learning lessons from my twenties all over again.

I think the problem is going from having a career and a comfortable life in Australia, back to being a student in a city on the other side of the world. It is incredibly hard adjusting from one life to another and I have felt like the whole journey has been one huge emotional roller coaster. You constantly bombard yourself with questions like: What you are doing? Why have you chosen the harder path?! Is this really what you want to do?! Also being a single woman in your 30s you feel a certain societal pressure to get married and be a mother, something which seems so far from my reality right now!!

So I do wonder about the saying 'age is but a number' as in some ways it is, but in other ways, it really isn't. Shouldn't we embrace the numbers that we collect as points for life experience?! Then we can take them and use them to shape and confirm who we want to be.

Just some thoughts. 

Life in Paris, never a dull moment!


  1. It took me a while to find friends in my age range here - at first, being a teaching assistant and then hanging out with some other TAs in Tours, they were often a few years younger. Obviously I would never rule out younger friends (one of my new friends here is 25), but you do start to feel the age difference especially to people in their early 20s, and that's from someone who still has a pretty un-grownup lifestyle: single, no kids, undemanding "career", no responsibilities, likes to go out to bars etc. etc. so it must be even more dramatic for others!

    1. Yeah, I adore my new friends, but I still feel on the outer. Its nice to know I am not the only one that has felt like this before! Hope all is going well for you in Luxembourg!! I have a really good friend there, so I will have to keep you posted if I come visit!! :)

  2. I thought I was the only single female who asks herself the questions of what I'm doing with my life, and experiencing the struggle of trying to find who I am... seems every day I get attacked with thoughts of the type of life I "should" be living; the sort of life and friendships I'd also really like are not any help either although I'm grateful for the blessings I can count in my life. I live in the States and have been in sort of a rut being unemployed and living with my parents which hasn't been the best thing for me. I always compare myself now to my earlier 20s when it felt like I was actually a lot more responsible at least as far as being able to hold down that boring 9-5 job... as a budding / closet artist it's also really tough for me because so many of the things about society, the type of jobs available to me with out a college degree, etc. that I never quite questioned in my earlier 20s I find to be meaningless but then with out money I can't build! Anyway, thanks for your blog... I'm really curious about what it's like to be a single female living in Paris, maybe one day I can visit :) And, Good luck!!

    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I often have a thought and just write about it so I am glad that you are able to relate to me. All I can say is hang in there, take this time to figure out and understand who you are and never let anyone make you doubt your worth. Just remain positive and I am sure everything will work out! If you ever come to Paris I would be happy to show you around!! Good luck to you!!