A pang of age hit me the other day. I'm 34, so what do I even mean? Do I really have the right to indulge in such things?
It happened while taking a lift to the floor I work on. It's arbitrary, but anyway, number 8. To the right of me stood a man - barely one, bloody youngster! - who looked about 25, 26. He was acting, speaking and giving off signals that I carried off so naturally in that part of my youth. Not things you work hard at being able to do. Simple stuff, like nature tells you. Standing all angular and excited because being alive is a gift and his next email an invite to adventure. Feelings that brought me back to my 26 year old self.
I think it was the light blue shirt and grey trousers that got me thinking. I used to be that clean faced corporate gazelle bound by the passive formality of smart casual. I granted objects and people a spiritual quality. I still do to a certain extent, especially buildings for some reason.
Back then I was a social media manager. Now I type this job description into Google it hits me like a relic. The first things that come up are paid ads for social media management companies. Anyway, it turned out that the job was heavily writing focused, so perfect for me. It had certain social media flavours to it - a light seasoning - but nothing beyond setting up and growing the popularity of company Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. Maybe even starting the odd Google forum if I could pull it off.
At 26 I saw a certain type of London. My morning coffee was a symbol of beginning. I was gaunt and enthused, wrapped in the uniform of open plan business. I approached each new challenge and the repetition of old ones on stilts. I reveled in that caffeinated hall of fear.
Life is noticeably different now that I think about it. I have different fears, the shapes have varied. They're more like grating anxieties. There's more confidence involved for sure. My professional reflexes are more fine tuned. But it doesn't stop me involuntarily connecting with the past.