Friday, 29 January 2016
Supposedly you become a crusty old right-winger, you recoil from anything new, you shout grumpy abuse at anyone you come across, you become tight-fisted and mean, and so on.
Well, even if that's generally the case, which I doubt, I must say it doesn't apply to me. I don't feel I've changed very much from that shallow, naive youngster groping his way through life forty odd years ago.
I still feel shallow and naive, I still feel marginalised and insignificant, I still feel I'm groping through life, I'm still baffled by most of what goes on around me, I'm still shy and retiring, and I still feel judged and misunderstood.
I'm certainly not a crusty old right-winger; if anything I've become more radical and sympathetic to new social trends like gay marriage and the personal openness found on social media. I don't recoil from anything new; if it's something that's going to enhance and improve my life, I grab it eagerly. I'm habitually polite and never shout grumpy abuse, even at people who thoroughly deserve it. I'm not tight-fisted and mean but very happy to spend freely on holidays, books, good food, wine and anything that enriches my existence.
My inner identity has barely changed through the decades. The external things may have changed - I have more money, I own a house, I've changed jobs, I've moved to a different city, I have a long-term relationship, I've become a hill-walker. But what's going on inside is much the same and shows no signs of fossilising into some hard-bitten, intolerant replica of Basil Fawlty.
Now excuse me while I grope my way through the rest of the day, trying yet again to make sense of it all.