THE YOUNGER MODEL (GUEST BLOG)
“And then I realised something, twenty-something girls are just fabulous, until you see one with the man who broke your heart.” Carrie, Sex and The City
I'm still twenty something. But I'm verging close enough to thirty to empathise with this quote fairly acutely. Let me explain...
If only I could turn back time. How frequently I think that. By a couple of days, a couple of hours, perhaps even a minute or two after I have said something thoroughly stupid even by MY standards.
But right now, I feel like turning back the years.
Why is it I feel old now? I want to be young again. I want to be a new, improved YOUNGER model...
Except in this case, the newer improved model existed five years ago.
Let's compare Paula.2003 against Paula.2008
Paula.2003 is 23, Paula.2008 is five years older. Boo . . .
Paula.2003 has a full head of blonde hair. Paula.2008 is potentially going gray. Okay, she's only found one grey hair so far. But it's a slippery slope...
Paula.2003 weighed seven stone thirteen pounds. Paula.2008 is a stone heavier.
Paula.2003 had hope and optimism that she might be in a dead end job right now, but she would eventually find something better. Paula.2008 is . . . in another dead end job.
I might have more money in the bank, a bit more security, a little less (or no) virginity, a far quicker wit, and a bit more savvy than I did back then, but when I compare myself to the 23 year olds out there, the ones with the great jobs and futures ahead of them . . . I wonder what exactly went wrong. Why do they always get the good jobs, the great guys? Why am I the one who is floundering, a tiny fish in a big pond struggling to exist in amongst the sharks? And why are the better and more successful fish so much younger?
Obviously, this is a sweeping generalisation, I know. Not every 23 year old is unbelievably successful, I know this. Just like not every 28 year old is like me and NOT successful – take Chele for example, and all the incredible things she has done in her life. My achievements simply don't compare.
But this isn't about me comparing myself to someone the same age as me. It's about feeling like an old biddy while it seems the people taking all the great jobs, the luck, THE MEN . . . are so much younger. I know I'm not old, I know I don't even LOOK my age . . . but sometimes I just don't understand why getting older makes us seem less attractive to others all of a sudden.
It always has seemed to me that older guys seem to automatically gravitate to younger women. I don't know why. So to now be in the position of finding a guy choose a younger model... it's a bit gutting, to be perfectly frank. But why do they do it? I know, like I said, that I don't LOOK old. I was at a party the other week and people were actually astonished to discover my real age. So why? Is it that it's easier for a guy (or, I guess, a company) to mould a younger model to suit their ways? I know a lot of girls who are far younger than me and completely know their own mind, don't get me wrong. But it's taken me a while to get to a place where I don't WANT to change myself for a man. If, for example, a guy gave me a cd of someone they really liked and asked me to listen, I'd give it a chance. But if I don't like it, I don't like it. I'm not gonna pretend to like, say, The Rolling Stones, or Bruce Springsteen, or a certain film, just to impress someone else. What's the freaking point? To be perfectly honest, I think that's pretty sad. I guess I'm set in my ways – I believe in compromise, and I also believe that I don't have to like the same things someone else likes in order for me to be compatible with them. Is that wrong of me? Apparently.
This isn't even a matter of looks. Although I know I look older now than I did five years ago, I don't know whether it would hurt more to be replaced by a good looking younger model or a version that may have more potential but looks like crap. That's something Chele and I have both wondered about, and to be honest, it's hard to know what would leave a more bitter taste in one's mouth.
But I guess no matter how much I wish I was younger, how much I wish I could turn back time, I don't really want to go back there. Because I have learned so much in the last five years, both about myself and about other people. I feel like that knowledge has shaped me and moulded me as a person, helped me grow. Perhaps I'm not the perfect girl for one guy, perhaps they need someone else that they can help to grow up they way they choose to grow them. But hopefully I'll be the perfect girl for someone else. Someone who actually wants a girl who knows her own mind, who isn't just a sheep.
I'm proud of the fact I've learned enough to know I'm not willing to change completely for someone. I couldn't have said that 5 years ago. I didn't know my own mind back then. Now I do.
I know that while I'm willing to compromise in a relationship, I am not willing to compromise my personality. I also know that someone who doesn't appreciate my personality, likes and dislikes, is not someone I should be with. If being traded in for a younger model means being left on the shelf in the meantime, then I guess so be it.
After all, new trends come and go, and there's always a newer model to replace the previous one for someone who is fickle enough to drop one for another on a frequent basis. But quality vintage? That may be appreciated by fewer, but it's far more lasting . . .
Dedicated to anyone who has ever been traded in for a younger model...