Twenty Till I Die

Twenty Till I Die

Get moody and tell the world how you have discovered the joys of travelling solo

We all love our own calendars. There is always a metaphorical clock ticking inside our heads — have sex before you pass out of college (if not earlier); have at least a couple of intimate relationships before you are 25; travel the world with your boyfriend or girlfriend before you turn 30 and post pictures of entwined legs and arms and make hearts around the setting sun.

Then suddenly discover a penchant for solitude before you are 35. Get moody and tell the world how you have discovered the joys of travelling solo. It’s also a good time to end some relationships, get a few tattoos and quit the job that was until then the coolest thing you had in your life. Women who have not already had babies in their late 30s or singles not in any serious long relationship, are probably committed to Netflix and yoga. For couples, who prefer to remain child-free (and eventually sex free), there is always the rush to move to a seaside apartment, or a hillside bungalow, or a second calling, as soon as they hit 40. It is from here that they look at the rest of the world with dreamy eyes and tut tut at the folly of those who are slogging their once-beautiful bums off to save for the child’s US degree.

If you have missed all or most of these deadlines, and are living a 20-year-old’s life in your 40s, you probably need help.

You see, a person is not a person unless he/she has met certain standards. For instance, a couple living apart for professional reasons, are expected to have multiple relationships on the side. Or should be mulling divorce. A young woman who is single and yet not interested in sex, must be weird. A guy in his late 30s who may have been married and divorced must be looking for casual sex — who wants to make the same mistake again, right?

Do we not get our knickers in a knot trying to live up to what is expected of us all the time? What would our social media family think of us? What would my colleagues say about our relationship if my husband does not take me out for an anniversary surprise? And what if I am not so cool any more? If I don’t like to travel solo despite being single or what if I am in my 40s, have no kids, have a great life, don’t care about sex or cats?

Let me know if you have cracked the answer. I am still busy living up a certain stereotype.

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