It took a 71 year old in shiny silver shoes and a leopard print jacket to remind me that even though I am a mum now, it’s ok to keep a piece of me ‘forever young’.
Not just any 71 year old of course. It was Rod Stewart. In Vegas (which was freaking awesome!). With just my husband. Jackpot.
It was actually our first weekend away from the kids (now 2 and 4). And we went crazy in true Vegas style. We were 21 again – free to do whatever we wanted. For 48 hours at least.
Despite this freedom, I started off feeling really awkward. And the drunker I got, the more embarrassed I started to feel. That’s not how we should behave now! We should know better, etc.
The truth was, I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to be acting nowadays. I am still lost somewhere in- between the old me and the mum-me.
But then, Rod came on stage. There he was swinging his microphone around, the king of giving no fucks. Good old Rod, he doesn’t care how old he is or how many kids he has, he knows how to still have a good time! He really is forever young.
And this song got me thinking……
I was a little bit (*read a big bit) of a boozy floozy when I was in my 20’s. I was in London- what a playground! The fact I eloped and got married in Vegas at 28 didn’t surprise that many people- that was the kind of silly thing Marie would do back then.
But then came the kids. I had to, and wanted to, distance myself from young Marie. I had different priorities. So I changed.
Now, socially, I’m a much calmer, quieter shadow of my former self. And I’m ok with that. Some friends weren’t, but that’s ok too- you learn fast in your late 20’s that friends come and go as your life evolves. And it makes the ones that stayed around even more special.
Elements of young Marie come out for hen weekends (that’s bachelorette for the yanks), weddings or big landmark birthday bashes. But very rarely. And I’m always rather apologetic about her. And embarrassed. Like she doesn’t have a role to play in my life now.
The truth is, she does.
It’s important to still stay in touch with your 20 year old self. Don’t write her off completely. Be like Rod and keep her core spirit ALIVE! Treat her like one of those friends that you don’t see too often nowadays, but when you do, it’s always a blast! That’s how this Vegas trip felt to me.
Remember that that 20 year old, as drunk, reckless and as irresponsible as she might have been, made choices. BIG choices that got you where you are today. I am in California with two gorgeous kids and a hot husband because of young Marie and a messy drunken night in Camden Town eight years ago. So this mum owes my younger, wilder self a lot! The least I could do is dress her up and take her out a little more.
Thanks for the perspective Rod. Every now and then, there is no shame in growing old a little disgracefully J