Monday, 6 February 2017

0 weeks to go

Last year, I counted 40 weeks to my 40th birthday. I just wanted to know. Deep inside, I assumed that I will take these 40 weeks and transform myself: sort my unfinished things to prove that I am grown up enough for the next decade and put my body into a shape reminding me of my late 20s (ha ha on that one) or at least back before daughter was born.

I didn't realise that I will still be sleep deprived, that starting nursery will take its toll, that I will be depressed and undecided whether I should grab my life and transform it or carry on with trying for another baby, miscarrying, worrying, crying..... I still don't know. And as yet, 40 weeks past, I am not a new better version of myself. I am myself. I am working on my novel day by day. I get my house in order every morning and going to nursery is fun, not an issue anymore. I meditate and exercise, I can go to swim once a week which is an unbelievable luxury for a full time mother (as is anything you can do for and by yourself - 15 hours childcare a week is a blessing).

I am not panicking about time running out. I don't think I worry about getting old, although I do see a wrinkle or a grey hair every now and then and my weight doesn't seem to be moving in any way. It is just sitting high, too high. I put it on after full time breastfeeding, while still sleep deprived, eating too much basically. The food substitutes bad sleep and there is too much bad or no sleep. That is it.

I will be 40. I never had list of goals, I was lucky, life was good, things were happening. I am a different person. Life seems more stationary, settled. It is a good thing. I don't like people who insist staying in their twenties mode, who don't want to grow up and change. I reflect more now. Reaching 20, I was looking forward. The only backward glance was towards the realisation that I didn't make it as far in the modelling industry as I once hoped and I knew that 20 was more or less the threshold. Once my booker said I would be great to play the mums in TV ads, I knew I can pack it. Only years later was I happy about the fact I never made it to the desired measurements which wouldn't be possible in any way for a woman of my height - to have as narrow hips as imagined by designers I would somehow have to change the structure of my hips as I was not fat (although I was called fat many a times). It was nice not to have to dream about loosing 10 kilos I never needed to loose, to give it all a finger. It hurt at the time, it is so not important now.

 I remember how happy I felt after 30. I finally had stable relationship, I could make plans for my future. I was very happy in my skin. All of my late teens and twenties, any other female around was a competition, even a friend. By 30, I lost the need to be the prettiest girl in the room, the slimmest and tallest and best and most popular one... I was happy to pass the baton and watch the new girls to steal the limelight and I didn't care. I wished them well but I could finally see how little it all matters. Being first in anything is nice but it doesn't mean that it makes one happy, there is much more to that. Only in my thirties did meditation, reflection and silence make sense to me and I started needing it.

So what will 40 bring? Everything changed in the last decade and I can afford a little bit of nostalgia now, but looking to the future is tricky. Around 30, there was a map - finding love and moving in together would logically lead to things like setting up home, building a career in a new country and hopefully starting a family. Now this is all done. So what can I look forward to? How will our relationship continue? Most aspirations and worries are for my daughter, not for me, I know I will manage. I just want to be healthy and find a way to fulfil myself. As for looks, I want to be strong and happy in my body, I don't want to go back to my 20s thank you very much. I am still learning to live in my post baby body, realising what I can  and what I can not do for real, not because of lazy excuse... But what will I be really managing in the next decade remains to be seen...

Monday, 16 January 2017

My TV Moments 2

   It is already a year since BBC started showing War And Peace. It was very well made. I know I am pretty late writing about it, but here I go.

   There is a scene where Natasha, a young but poor aristocrat, goes to a ball with her family. It is important as young girls were introduced to society, met their suitors, marriages were arranged, lots depends on the way how Natasha will be accepted. Yet they stand there and they are being avoided. Even old friends, now young men who know what it means to be seen with someone, avoid eye contact. There is no money for them in that match. And Natasha's face goes from happy and excited to very anxious. And her parents' faces tense more and more even though they knew on arrival it may not go well. But they hope that their family's fortune will turn.

   It reminded me about my own youth, the anxiety around boys, the unending popularity contest, the hope to fall in love and experience romance....

   But then Andrei Bolkonsky shows up. And he is handsome. And rich. And from a great family. He is the best possible suitor for many girls there. He looks like most girls in any century would love their first love to look.
   He sees her and doesn't pretend she isn't there. He goes straight to her. He asks her to dance. He takes her hand. And very slowly, they get into position and start to dance. They dance and everyone can see them but they can only see one another.

   As this scene was unravelling, I was getting more and more emotional. Because the scene had the perfection of a love scene, the atmosphere of first love, it had everything I remember from the times when a boy's look could give me butterflies. It had so much romance and so much hope in it. And I realized in that moment that I will never feel like this again, that this time of my life is long time over and I didn't realize it. Only then, watching Natasha and Andrei dancing did I realize all of that. It didn't make me sad, of course that I moved on, but it made me super nostalgic and aware of all the years that passed and how different I am from the girl I once was.
   There are no more illusions, no more great hopes. There is stability and a relationship I don't have to fret about, a partnership and a family, so I do have my happy end, I am not writing about this because of sadness. It was only made so that it stirred these emotions in me and made me think how much I actually lived. As well as caring for the characters, of course, and waiting for their story to continue (and it didn't go well for them, sadly).

   So that is it, my big TV moment from year ago, which stayed with me for so long and I which I won't forget. For a while after that I went through a bit of 90s nostalgia, listening to old music and watching old videos, remembering old shows and the fashion, how much more normal everyone looked back then (no botoxed up fake hair orange looks and every character in every story perfected to abnormality, no reality tv, less political correctness...). I thought the world would change a lot for the better, yet all through last year I thought people are still the same, nothing is changing, same mistakes keep happening, issues are more or less the same and we are not better or wiser... Oh well. At least now I know that and can carry on with my life and hope that my daughter's ideals will end up better one day.....