When work is calm and there’s not much to do but read a book or watch a film waiting for the set times to do something (key when working with autism) I usually read or do music work, but my boss insisted on me watching a film she’d just watched herself. It’s called “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” and is set in India. A group of retired people in Britain finds an ad for “The Marigold Hotel- for the beautiful and elderly”, and their different life situations have them going “well, why not, India is sunny and it sounds wonderful” (The owner’s business idea is actually “all countries wanna get rid of their old people, it’s brilliant” ) but of course, the hotel is not a wonderful resort, yet it grows on them anyway. Brilliant cast; Judi Dench, Maggie Smith, Bill Nighy and Tom Wilkinson among others.
It had me thinking about age again. I’ve only just recently started working with more people, among them a 32-year-old woman with several kids, and we’ve been discussing. I tell her I’m not worried about age one bit and she goes “oh my, I’m worried all the time!” and I’m like; “well, that’s a very nordic thing, innit’? People abroad are quite amazed at how obsessed we are, apparently we’re worse than the modeling industry and Hollywood, and that’s saying something!” and she goes: “Yeah, that’s true.”
And it really is. Nowhere else in the world has this infantile idea that “30 is ooold” stuck quite as much. Most people outgrow it. Not here though. When I say I don’t worry I get a lot of: “Well that’s easy for you to say, looking so young!” Would it not be OK for me to not worry if I didn’t? What a weird concept! We’re beautiful in different ways. There’s no “right way” to be beautiful. We sure have an industry of “beauty products” telling us otherwise, but that’s because they make money of us, come on!
In most parts of the world, your 30’s and 40’s are for trying things out, being creative and doing your thing, especially in the entertainment industry, not your 20’s. Because 30 and up is where you have the confidence, the looks (that again) and the life experience. How many of your role models did their best job in their 20’s? I know I wasn’t even ready to face the hardships of making and album and dealing with difficult people until I was 26. Tori Amos was up in my number of albums she was proud of at 34. She even says in her book: “The Beekeeper” that her rebellious stage was for that age and that she gets to calm down and not breastfeed a pig now that she’s nearing 50.
Starting a family? Don’t even get me started… I was sober for a 30’s fest and drove some of the party goers into town, the girl next to me starts mumbling; “So… you wanna have kids?” (what a personal question you seldom ask men no matter their age!). “Errr, I guess… one day. I dunno, haven’t really thought about it, I mean… I’m barely 30!” (summer 2014 so I was weeks away). “Oh my god, you’re so weird! I’m 26 and I think about it all the time!” First of all… 26? This girl looked my senior… I understand why people say I look young! And second of all; yes… yes… it would be weird… if we weren’t two different individuals with two different minds… Taking hormones or adopting (which I’ve always supported anyway) is about 15 yrs away, and I’m not unusual in my line of work. Most wait ’til late 30’s so career doesn’t suffer. This goes for men too. And this could go for other lines of work if people weren’t so damn hysterical about it. “I want to be able to relate to my child!” Ah, well… erm… being a big lover of Spongebob and receiving rubber ducks, toys and barbies as christmas gifts this year… I’d say I’m not worried there either yet… A good example here is when Halle Berry was expecting for the second time, announced on this entertainment page. Everyone congratulated her. Except a Swede who commented: “Well, how fun will it be for the kid if it graduates when you’re 60?”. I guess as fun as any graduation…?
I hang out with all kindsa ages. And one thing I’ve learned is: You don’t change. You get more experienced and opinions get changed along the way, sure, but you don’t change. If I love Spongebob now, I will probably love weird kids shows when I’m 80 as long as they’re as brilliant.
And with expected life spam increasing, I’m sure as hell not gonna spend the next 50 years knitting! Actually, I hate knitting, so I might never. But I’m sure as hell not settling. My grandpa started building violins and playing them brilliantly at 60. My relative, Meta Velander, is almost 90 and still loves acting. I come from a long line of none settlers.
I’ll leave you with my reaction to my friend’s request. She gave me a present December 23d, asking that I didn’t open it until December 24th (Swedish christmas). “Oooooh, come oooon, why do I have to wait so loooooong?”. Getting older is inevitable. Growing up is a choice.