Life, the universe and everything – on turning 42

Someone recently tweeted “Turn 40 and your life becomes nostalgia, haha.”

I called them out on it (gently, of course).

I saw turning 40 as surprisingly freeing. I was past the age where all the usual expectations of conforming to ‘life stuff’ was being foisted on me. And since I never read women’s magazines, all those articles on what women over 40 should and shouldn’t do/wear/have their hair like happily passed me by.

Instead, I tried to move forwards in my 40th year and to take some risks – I’ve talked about that a little before in another post.

In 2017 I went to Berlin with my best friend and saw some amazing modern opera. I made a piece of conceptual choreography for my MA, that I really enjoyed, and that I would really like to rework at some point. There was even an exciting but very short lived adventure with a much younger man!

In the summer I got to perform at Latitude Festival. I wore more glitter than I have ever worn before, while hanging out with a group of feisty (and eyebrow obsessed) young students and artists (and I saw the wonderfully raucous Hot Brown Honey!) and then I went to Edinburgh to be a Total Theatre Assessor, which I hope to do again in 2019, if they’ll have me.

Then, I was presented with an opportunity to leave my safe, part time job and go completely freelance… (it felt serendipitous, as though the previous couple of years had been the build up to this big leap) and I took it. Anyone who knows me knows that financial security and I do NOT go together. I am very and I mean VERY bad with money. Maybe because I don’t care about it. I’m used to never really having had any.

In February 2018 I am turning 42 and I expect infinite wisdom to be bestowed upon me but beyond that I know very little about what it holds, apart from uncertainty. I have no idea who I will be working for/with in six months time. Or if I will chicken out and get another ‘proper job’. I hope not.

I do know that:

  • I will be undertaking another first this year, helping to facilitate a community project with Moveable Feast in Seacroft.
  • I will also have to make a show for September for my MA (pretty much the whole point in doing it). Which I am equally excited and terrified about.  No doubt I will talk more about this as I make it.

I know what I would like to do this year: I’d like to do LOTS of performing, read more, blog more, see more theatre, meet more passionate female makers, laugh a lot, fall in love (for the first time in more than a decade).

My point is that, so far, my 40s have been infinitely better than my 30s. I think a lot of that has to do with consciously trying to stop looking back, letting go of my past, and focussing on making new memories rather than becoming more nostalgic.  I wonder what I will be saying this time next year.

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