There was a time when that was it, as complicated as it got and there were others to worry about periods beyond that. Indeed, to my young mind such moments in time beyond the here and now were incomprehensible.
Someone beyond 25 was just so far removed from my understanding of life experiences as to be part of ‘them’, the ‘everyone else’ who wasn’t young.
Then I hit teens and boundaries became confused. In my mind I was still 7 dreaming of childish things and wanting to do nothing real and everything imagined. A part of me was feeling pulled into an adult world, one where I would not fit in and where I would be the outsider.
The way others perceived me changed at this time to. I was expected to have an opinion on things I knew nothing about. I most certainly was, and this was clearly understood by the ‘old’ people, that I would contribute financially to the things to which I had grown accustomed to having others pay for. That little voice which wanted to be an adult got excited about the notion of paying my way whilst that other voice, the one I still very much was, couldn’t understand how this meant that I would also have to give something up.
My teens went before I really had a chance to adjust to them and certainly way before anyone suggested to me I should be enjoying them. Into my 20’s it became obvious, for me at least, that there was never going to be that time when I would stop being 7 and grow up. I was comfortable there and to this day, see no reason to make that leap.
Sure, I have learnt many things as I trundled hopelessly through life, some of them actually useful. Most though showed me that unless we are one of the fortunate ones of this planet, we will have to play our part and somehow try and conform or have a difficult and troubled life … well, sod conforming so it’s fairly obvious that difficult and troubled are apt words.
My observational and listening skills have enabled me to act rather well. It would appear that many of the people I meet really do believe I am all grown up. So good have I got at it that when I hear myself on television or radio I really don’t know the guy on there. He speaks with confidence and understanding. I could, were it not rather odd for me to think this way, rather admire that other me. He though only exists in the minds of those who choose to accept that is who I am. Many close to me will know that’s not me at all. I am 7 years old, I want to play with my cars. I want to watch John Noakes on Blue Peter and get excited every time a telephone rings. I want to do stupid things, I want to get dirty. I want to hold my mums hand, I want nan to make me her special chips, I want to watch sunbeams on the paddling pool. In my mind I do all those things, every day of my life.
As time passes though I am finding I am doing administration on my life. No longer it is what happened last week and what shall I do next… I have my childhood, my teens, that bit where I was married, going from one job to another and a large part as a carer and now this bit of coasting, creating for myself the tools I never thought were important as a kid to get through the remainder of life. I don’t think about next week, I plan, I plan for the whole year, and for the next and the one after that and when I can’t plan I dream.
If I ever get dementia, please let me go right back, let me be 7 again.