Sonia Said: when do you expire?
When two years ago I was getting my (very last minute) passport renewed, I remember having a huge revelation moment when I saw its expiry date: ten years, like, well, every other passport. But that meant the next time I would need to get my passport renewed (granted I didn't lose it, get my shit stolen etc etc) I'd be 35. F-u-u-u-ck. I was excited, trying to imagine this grown woman standing at the desk filling in the form. Or when she's going somewhere and there she is, 35, showing her passport to security, smiling, going through. RIGHT? Where is she going? Does she look good? Does she have money, a career, is she happy? And where could these thoughts lead an overthinking creative? All kinds of sideways.
There is probably nothing more exciting than being excited about your future, especially if you have a plan, passion, work for it, and all that. But that comes with the possibility of being absolutely crushed if it doesn't happen. All dreamers do it, right? By the time I'm 18, my book will be published (seriously?). By the time I'm 21 I'll have my first award for a performance (or maybe you'll just be at university running from school to work?). By the time I'm 25 I will establish my career (or you'll go back to school because everything so far majorly failed). By the time I'm 30 I will...oh hold the fuck on. I AM NOT DOING THIS AGAIN, I'm yelling in my head, already getting the very first symptoms of expiry curse - feeling a little nauseous, panicky, overwhelmed and depressed. But the thought has already implanted in my brain and I'm starting to think REASONABLY what my chances are. I think of person much younger than I am, who already has their shit together while I'm just sitting at my desk getting a little heart attack (wine at 11:32 anyone?).
I mean as if it isn't enough that society literally puts expiry dates on our heads, making it even more difficult to navigate the creative world, thinking "am I too old for this club now?", we literally do it to ourselves with New Year resolutions, milestones and aspirations defined by age and time. So I need to call bullshit on expiry dates of any kind. You never expire, and you can only do so much in your own time without going completely crazy. Because ironically, when I think about it, I did achieve what I wanted, the only difference being that those things didn't get me where I thought they would. The "be careful what you wish for" is quite relatable, but here’s a different thought to keep us sane. Don't make it all happen for just the sake of it. You're not racing anyone and if you think you are, you're doing shit wrong. Embrace the failure of not being quite where you thought you would, have a drink and toast to everything you have done for your own happiness, and if all that fails listen to Reb Day and know that you seriously are not alone in this. Your passport might expire but dreams won't! Cheesy but hey, true. That's what wine said.