‘The more sand has escaped from the hourglass of our life, the clearer we should see through it.’
18 years ago I was 21. I’d passed an interview for a job I really wanted and I’d got it. I started in the April and my first day at work saw me wearing a three-piece suit, for some inexplicable reason, and moaning about the chair I was given. It was a blue swivel chair and it had no arms. I was worried I’d fall off in a flurry of spinnage and demonstrated how possible this would be by sitting on the chair, looking busy, getting up in a hurry and falling off my chair.
My boss laughed. My colleagues laughed. I got a new chair. With arms.
I had a desk with drawers and I had a position within a company. A place in the real world. People asked me things and I gave them answers. And somehow they believed me. And somehow, god knows how, they were the correct answers.
I was taken out for lunch, I had steak and kidney pie but no chips. My boss ate my chips.
I remember this like it was yesterday. I can still smell the office, see the grey carpet tiles under my feet, see my desk, and remember that there was something I didn’t do that day which I got away with. I was an adult and as such these memories, as a slightly older adult, seem near to me, if not dear to me. Not 18 years ago. More like 18 seconds ago.
In 18 years my son will be 21. In 18 years my daughter will be 19, looking forward to her 20th birthday. These things seem so far away from me right now. They would have gone through education, university perhaps, had amazing life experiences I hope and become something. Themselves. Adults for farks sake. I know they are themselves right now but by then my son will be shaving and my daughter, my wee girl, will be a woman. But you can’t stop progress. Who’d want to?
18 years went by in a heartbeat. 18 years in the future seems unimaginable. These small things being taller than me, cleverer than me, funnier than me and telling me how to behave. I look forward to it. But not too quick please. We still have a lot of fun on the agenda I hope.
I’ve been thinking about this for some time, but reading this post by @randompearlsof made it solid and therefore okay for me to blog about in my usual random way. Time flies, and bends and drags. A day when you have a sickly baby who needs nothing but cuddles and who screams at you when you need a wee, can go on for several lifetimes. But 18 years of your own life can fly by in seconds.
What were you doing 18 years ago? Some of you will probably make me feel really old by telling me what you were up to but it’s a risk I have to take.
Thanks for reading.
First published May 7th, 2012.