Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Acting my Age

Here, according to the natives, my physical age is still "very young" or "your still a baby". Mind you I am roughly a year and half away from turning 30 which doesn't frighten me at all. Though much to my annoyance, whenever I venture away from home, family like to give me their worried looks. I guess for them it sucks that I didn't put on the white dress at 23 years old and pop out a couple of cute toddlers by now. But alas, that's not me, maybe one day, but that's not the brass ring I am aiming for at the moment. I never was one to act my age, half the time I forget how old I am.

I listen to music that was popular eighty years ago, I photograph faded pre-war signs on buildings, to the point where people with sharper vision than me can't see the faded outline of a letter or picture but I can. I see nothing troublesome with digging up old indictment files, mugshots, and manuscripts to name a few, the old fashioned way, meaning fighting with a microfiche machine ( you know, those archaic beasts with a roller and forward and rewind buttons to look at a photostatic image.)

I actually enjoy reading, not skimming one sentence with the conviction that I will figure out the rest of the paragraph. I've run into countless people who claim to be my age that seriously makes me wonder how did they pass high school by their endless insistence on having a limited attention span.

I hope that I never act my age, I like the number I've adopted for myself. A friend recently pointed out to me that my current age falls within the Saturn Return, which from as I understand it, you leave every vestige of childhood behind between the ages of 27 and 30 and step over a threshold into the next phase of your life as an adult. If your true self has been built on faulty layers, than your life will be filled with chaos until you become honest with yourself. So far I think I am on the right track. There has been some upheaval, but my core self has remained sound. When I think back on it, right after I turned 27, an idea was posed to me that seemed unfeasible and completely frightening at the same time. And although it has taken me awhile to admit it to myself, a year and a half later I'm doing it. Piece by piece, one step at a time. And I wouldn't trade it for all the instant gratification in the world.


Anonymous said...

Dear Alana,
I hope that you will not take me as being too forward, or worse offensive or lewd, please forgive me for having to say that I think I'm in love with you. Or rather, the idea of you. Though you and I are separated by anonymity, I have developed a profound affection and respect for your humble web log. I have found myself anticipating every entry, I feel you are a kindred spirit, a woman with whom I am sure I would get along with famously. I live in one of larger rust belt metropolises of the Midwest, coming of age here amidst crumbling Victorian and Edwardian industrial society in a house built in 1910 located in a blighted trolley car suburb, I found myself drawn to an age which is passing from memory to history. I feel closely connected with an era that is alien to most of our generation. As a wayward and delinquent though well read and cultured teenager, I found myself trading in my hip-hop attire for vintage three piece suits, fedoras and derby hats, buying up pocket and wristwatches masterfully created before many people new what a battery was, and all manner of trinketry one would find in the pocket of a sporting fellow out on the town in 1900. I find myself on hands and knees admiring tile floors or elegant wainscoting, cloth bound electrical wire, gas light fittings, etc. whenever I enter a structure over 70 years old. The advertisements you so enjoy spotting and photographing also catch my wandering eye. Why on New Year's eve I started the night cranking my 1927 Victrola and sipping Absinthe. I had flippantly remarked to my friends earlier that day that I thoroughly intended on partying like it was 1899. Sadly, I have yet to find among my friends and acquaintances one who shares my sepia-toned fancies and affectations. Affectation, no, that word shall not do, as my obsession with all things ante and parabellum is not a mere pretense or show, but a sincere longing to be connected with a distant past that is growing ever more distant. To very loosely cite Barbara Tuchman, I desire to peer into "A Distant Mirror" (The title of her 1978 book focusing on 14th century Europe). I feel as though you understand, and my heart is lightened with the knowledge that perhaps with people like you and I out there to try in some small way to live the days gone by, we are preserving the little things of former times, the objects and artifacts of everyday life that provide a tangible connection to the people who once used them, thus in a way keeping those people alive. I will end my mash note here, extending my hand in comradeship to another old soul, if only through the detached and soulless realms of cyber space.

Yours in History,
Mr. Morgan Doyle Quinn

Alana said...

Mr. Quinn,

I am humbled to know that you enjoy reading my web log and your kind comments. And it is true that as long as you have an appreciation for what something use to be and parts of it that still glimmer through, then that matters more than anything else. :)