Age to Age

Growing older is so strange.

It’s not as if you lose all the previous versions of yourself – you just become more crowded as you go along.

The 4-year-old who thought that warm scones with jam and cream were perfect heaven still waits vigilantly on the eve of every birthday wondering what presents tomorrow’ll bring.

The 9-year-old in me still walks down the corridors of my mind in the wrong school uniform, shoulders hunched over as she tries to make herself invisible.

The 12-year-old in me is still in there, feeling that getting undressed in front of strangers will actually kill her.

The 14-year-old debater in still on her mental soapbox haranguing the crowd, and the 15-year-old is still sneaking out for a smoke.

The 16-year-old in me is noticing the moodily-beautiful student on the seat across from her on the train, and thinking “if this was another time, we’d both be about to get ourselves into some trouble”.

The 40-year-old in me is still astonished when anything of hers gets published.

The 46-year-old in me is still delighted to meet anyone who knows who Boo Radley is.

At 50 I’m like my own village, my own cocktail party – my own war.

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