Here’s the mainstream theory: as you grow up, everyone goes through the same stages of life. Terrible twos, angsty teens, adventurous twenties. . . There are plenty more in there but you get the point.
New theory: everyone goes through the same stages, just not necessarily in the same order or at the same age. This means you could display ‘the terrible twos’ when you’re thirty-six, angsty teen years may appear in your twenties, carefree child years in your fifties. . .
It makes sense I guess – we’re all human, but we’re all unique. And some of us are plain contrary! So why not?
This came up because I was feeling a bit down having watched a film (can’t remember what but it wasn’t anything serious) where they were saying how brilliant your twenties are. It reminded me of something/someone else going on about how the teenage years were best. Both films described these years as fun, exciting, crazy, the time for finding yourself and experimenting and travelling. . . I did none of that. These years weren’t necessarily bad for me but they certainly slipped by quietly, without any fanfare or huge events.
Had I missed out? Again?
According to this theory, maybe not. I still have a chance, those ‘best years’ may still be ahead of me! I did my terrible twos and angsty teens between the ages of one and— well, people disagree on when exactly I got over it, but by ten or so I was being a reasonable human being. My teen years were unremarkable, filled with trying to get through school with some reasonable grades at the end. My twenties (which, for those interested, I’m still in although nearing the end of) have been. . . well, I’m not entirely sure what happened to them. They started with university, then were marked by episodes of health and illness. Never leaving me well long enough to do more than start applying for jobs, which in a way was good I guess because it left me free to help out my gran. (When I was well, obviously)
The point being, I’ve done the terribles, the angsty, the responsible. Maybe the fun, exciting, experimental whatevers are still to come. I’m not looking for anything too extreme or crazy, just maybe something of note. Something not necessarily good but hopefully not bad, that I can look back on and say, ‘ah, those were the years!’