Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Life is too short, drink tea and eat cake

A few months ago it dawned on me that my birthday is coming up. And not just any birthday, I'm going to be twenty-five. How? Why? Where did the years go? The panic and sadness about getting older and still being chronically ill is hard to deal with. My future is very sketchy. Friends my age and younger are all getting settled in their careers, moving out, traveling and having a great time being independent, while I depend on my family even more than ever. It's mile stones like this that make me feel even more trapped in time while everyone else moves on. I was nineteen when I became ill, I couldn't have imagined that I would be in the same situation almost 6 years on. I think anyone who is ill for a long period of time can relate to this sadness, especially if they're young. 

My dispair at my up coming birthday was panicking me so much, I said to a friend that I can't even relate to that age. No, I want to cancel it. Let me stay the same age, at least until I get better. A sentiment expressed every year since being ill. I always say I should be nineteen again as these years don't count. I'm not ready, I've not progressed.
But are we ever ready? Bad health or good? I sat down and started writing this post fuelled by my outrage at getting older when I happened to open a message from a friend that completely changed my view on the whole quarter of a century status I'm about to come by. My friend was about to set out to a memorial service for her friends son, Joe, who died a few days ago in a car accident, he was nineteen. Joe will forever be that magic number I wanted to stay. He will be remembered as a fun loving adventurous boy that looked like Huckleberry Finn. Joe's story snapped me out of my self pity. Wanting to be nineteen forever is wishing away my life. I'm not going to lie and say I'm not scared of getting older, I am. I'm scared of missing out and of a future I can't plan for. I'm still sad that I can't live life to the full, or as I want, but I am alive and I am grateful for every breath in my body and every year I am given. Growing older is a privallage not a curse. So in honor of Joe, who I never knew and many others, including people I have loved, who have left this world before their time, I will embrace my twenty-fifth year. 

Sometimes we all need a reminder to stop and appreciate our lives. Life doesn't always go the way we plan, but there is so much joy to be found even in the smallest of things. 
So on the third of October, I will take inspiration from my own illustration and 'love it all'. I will celebrate and welcome. I will buy extra good anti-wrinkle creams and I will eat cake and drink cup after cup of tea. I will do my best to smile through those quarter of a century jokes. After all, illness or not, being alive is something to celebrate.

Emma Xx 


  1. Im scared to turn 25 soon too, i dont want to grow up anymore, its too stressful.

  2. I just turned 22 and I feel so old because like you I am living out home and a lot of friends are moving on with their lives. But we do grow older and I can relate.

    Jackie | fashionxfairytale |

  3. Such a moving post Emma. The whole getting older thing whilst still ill is scary but we are going to be celebrating with you virtually (cake anyone?) & we've all got each other to lean on.. so to speak anyway! Very sad to hear agout Joe, life really can be so cruel :(
    Ali xx