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  • Writer's pictureMike Douglas

The Privilege of Age & Time

Last week in a conversation with Laura, where we were trying to work out how old we were (yes, we really had to work it out in the end), a few age and life thoughts came up.

After some math and counting years, we worked out I'm 36. Having lived through and with my depression, I've had times when I didn't know if I'd see a tomorrow, so for a long time I've lived mostly without expectations. Expectations I believe most people have, like 'I'll live until' or 'my life will be like...'. For me each day was a gift, a new opportunity to live. There wasn't an expectation of tomorrow, next week or next year.

I say this because as part of our conversation last week it entered my head, if we/ I live until I'm 70, that would mean I've only lived half my life. To think, rather imagine, that I could live my whole life time again... that blows my mind. It's just... it's almost un-processable.

This thought process is also linked to the hope, again not expectation, that we (hopefully) will have a baby in the summer. Our tag team, becomes a trios (some wrestling terminology there). There's so many thoughts related to that I've still not had time to write about. But for this conversation, it's made my life feel so precious, and vulnerable.

I am worrying much more about death, injury and just the vulnerability of life and our bodies. My life feels like something I now need to protect. This feels linked to my depressive mindset. And at the same time so different, maybe even removed, from my previous experiences. When I was/ can be at risk from myself and those dark thoughts. It's hard to describe how confusing and mixed up my brain feels sometimes.

For the most part this is all good things right now, I believe the brain traffic congestion is in part because I'm re-challenging ideas and values I have in my head. (Everyone has their own mindset) In my head a baby has meant I unexpectedly perceived my life as having new value. As someone with depression and having had negative thinking this is something we struggle with. Big time. Wether it's with a baby or not, the privilege of ageing and of time is something I am learning to accept. It is a privilege, for a long time, I have not considered for myself. Potentially having a baby, much like my relationship with Laura, it is through these new relationships and identities I find myself discovering or developing new aspects to me.

There was another conversation recently that also gave me pause for thought. The conversation included a reference to a younger me. It was so strange, because during and after that conversation I was left with a thought of, that was someone else. It was me, but not me. As if during that period of heavy depression I lost myself and another version was started from then. When I think back rarely to I look past 8 or so years ago. Many of my friends are friends I have met in those 8 years (holla to the 10 or so from pre 2015). I think maybe that's why the reflection on living my life again to 70, feels so strange. Because I feel like I've already had the privilege of a second life.


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