My birthday

Today is my birthday

A bit of sun

A bit of clouds

A bit of me

Wiser

A lot of me

Happier

All of me

Older

Sure thing

IMG_4937

PS: In this picture, I had no food for the ducks so when I tried to get closer to them, they just walked away from me. I hope this is not the way I will have to chase for happiness in real life. Exchanging things for happiness ? No – I hope not…;-)

Becoming a woman

You can’t easily generalize about pain. Each kind of pain has its own characteristics. To rephrase Tolstoy’s famous line, all happiness is alike, but each pain is painful in its own way. (1Q84 – Haruki Murakami)

In one evening she has aged a thousand of years. For once she had ceased to be an adolescent in love. Tonight she was a woman in love. She knew exactly what she wanted.

It was the first time in her entire life that she looked at a man in his eyes and told him she loved him. In spite of everything, the frustration of an unrequited love, she said it. She affirmed it. She did it verbally. Not by letter, not by mail, not by text messages. Eyes in the eyes she said it.

She feels like a woman. She feels real pain. She feels the immensity of her love for him and the tremendous sadness of never being able to have him.

But something very strange inside her, besides her pain, liberated her from being an eternal adolescent, longing for fantasies and dreams. It was like a miracle. The pain was so intense, but she was so adult for the first time in her life. She accepted the pain. She accepted to suffer. She took the risk. She was very brave. It never happened to her to be that true while in love. Nothing else mattered to her. It was a question of life and death. She told him all about her love. Word by word. She articulated. It was very difficult for her because in matters of love she has been staying an adolescent for so long.

She becomes finally an adult. Her love is real. He is leaving for real and for good. He will be leaving tomorrow.

She loves him as an adult. This is something very different from other love stories. It becomes very clear. It happens tonight. She wanted him in her life. Not just as a concept. She said it. She had no fear to say it.

It was the most important discovery tonight for her. She has become a real woman after all these years. Finally. She walked away after a long kiss goodbye. Her pain was so intense that made her legs shake. It was so hard but she did not regret any of it. The love of a woman will bear her through the pain. The worst kind of pain.

Marry me !

“How are you today ?”, he asked. After a week seeing me crying, whining, acting like a drama queen.

“I am a bit better now.”

“Good”, he smiled gently at me.

“Because I have come to a very important decision”, I said.

“…”

“I decided to ask you to marry me. In the poverty, in wealth, in sickness, in good health. What else? Until death tears us apart.”

“Good. Let’s do it. I let you take care of announcing the news to the family, ok ?”, he answered.

I love his answer. See, that is what I like about youth. Say that to a man of 38 years old, no, first you can never say that to a man you date if he is from 35 to 55 years old. It would destroy your relationship right away, I think. But when you say it to your cute friend of 20 years old, he gets enthusiastic about the idea. Maybe or certainly because he knows that nothing could ever happen, because the barrier of age and the reality will always save him from a real commitment. Still, he could have said nothing back.

No, no and no. It is not a matter of age. He is just like that. A heroic, chivalrous, knightly kind of man/kid. He is so bountiful to me, that’s all.

He is just like that. It is just the way he is. And that is why he is my joy. An answer like that enchants you for days. Believe me. Especially when I was the one who talked about marriage knowing deep down that I am protected by our difference of age. Funny isn’t it ?

Youth

The other day I was with a group of friends of my age (above 35). They started to ask me why I have seen them less and less lately and instead I prefer meeting young friends, less than 28 years old. I perceived a slight tone of mockery in their voices. “Don’t you think they don’t have much experiences to share? Don’t you think that conversations could be limited?”.

I felt a strong need to stand up for my young friends. I love young people. I work with young people. I am surrounded with young people. And I truly disagree with my friends.

We live now in a difficult period where unemployment rate gets higher each year. The world is not as sweet as in the 60s, I think. When we could leave the door unlock and nothing could happen. Or in the 70s, the whole hippy and peace period, when love was spread out everywhere. Nowadays young people get out of college and they are not sure to be able to find a decent job. I don’t say that they are more or less optimistic than older people. I think there are no major differences because of the age. It is not about the perception of life. I think we all perceive life and its difficulties in a similar way, young or old. No one is dupe. The difference is how young people deal with life once they see all the flaws and difficulties.

We, old people, are tired, our luggage we have carried through years gets heavier and heavier. Young people travel with a light suitcase. Few experiences. It is not about innocence or purity either because believe me, they are not. It is just the way they embrace life and how they get ready. There is a touch of adventurousness which amazes me each time.

It is their future that I like. I think I like being with them, accompanying them to see how they will turn out, what they would become one day. I think I like being this kind of observer. And I never underestimate the knowledge of kids nowadays. I always learn something new from them.

I like the way they tell me their hopes, their love stories, the way they live or experience sex. They can worry, they can be sad but never in the same way as people of my age. The possibilities of a better life are still with them. They don’t feel the need to stay in couple out of convenience. They don’t feel the need to cheat in couple, they just walk away when they fall out of love.

When I am with them, I see the world with their eyes. Things cannot be that dramatic because there are still so many years to live and many surprises to come. With my friends, we are like in a tunnel. We know that we had lived this or that. We get stuck with each other. We see each other’s situations and we don’t envy that. We are sad creatures talking about the same thing when we are together. I don’t deny them. I don’ want to be young forever either. It is just a feeling: with my young friends, I am a feather. Because my experiences never scare them away and they never judge any of my behaviors. With my friends, I am like a stone.

That was my clumsy way to explain and defend my young friends. I hope I did not hurt the older ones’ feelings. But they need to know. And maybe I am wrong and it is not an issue of age, but rather a question of personality. Maybe young people can be old and old people can stay young in their spirit. I cannot generalize and this is just a thought.

I share this because it is a beautiful sunny day and I will be heading to the lake to meet my young friends now.

Happy afternoon to all !