Why Should Thirty Carry Any Significance at All?


Elizabeth Maria

Thirty. Not where I thought I would be but, then again, I never really imagined where I would be or what life would be like when I got (t)here. I could see old age more clearly. It was exactly the same as I had watched both sets of my grandparents experience – spending day after monotonous day enjoying the simple pleasures in life by the side of a lifelong love. Conversations shallow in words but steeped in significance.

Everything in between youth and old age came in flashes rather than clear story lines. Flashes of exotic places, whirlwind romances, witty conversations, uproarious laughter, loud music, late nights, endless spontaneity, copious amounts of red wine (and cigarettes), and friends who had all the time in the world to share. Flashes – in day dreams and in sleeping ones too – were everywhere.

Now that I’ve arrived in the in between, my self-fulfilling prophecy has become a veritable reality. Life is, to my surprise, very much those flashes and little more. But, now, with youth sinking further beneath my feet, there is a kind of panic that has set in over how this in between could ever lead me to fulfill the other prophecy I once had, rife with clearer visions of old age. This is no doubt a common experience.

Why should thirty carry any significance at all, when objectively there is little evidence – only a flicker of gray hair here, an embryonic wrinkle or two there, a body that still fits into long out-of-fashion clothes and a heart that repeatedly opens itself up to heartbreak? With little to no objective evidence, what incentive, if any, have I to put an end to all of the flashes? Like fireworks in the otherwise dark – no, opaque – night sky of time passing.

They say life can pass you by in the blink of an eye. Some even say, don’t blink! But what if these flashes are merely a series of blinks, which, in rapid succession, actually comprise all that we see and perceive as life itself? Then, and I hope you would agree, we should blink, cry and weep, sleep to dream (and deeper yet) and blink again. For, if we don’t, the flashes stop and, soon thereafter, does life itself too.

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