So, just over a week ago I turned 43. It’s snuck up on me like a little creep. Darned odd number. Darned prime number. Where I don’t have a particular dislike of growing old, I do have an uncomfortable fear of messy, uneven numbers. I will spend the next 365 days looking forward to my 44th birthday for no other reason than it can be halved, and quartered.
Suddenly though that number on my head is beginning to weigh heavy. I was fine with turning 40; birthing a new life as you hit a new decade kind of gives you a youthful boost. “Look – behold what my body can still do!”
I’ve been tired ever since though. And the greys now sprout with wild abandon. And the wrinkles are overtaking my frown lines. And the southerly direction of travel of too many bits and pieces is somewhat disheartening.
So I decided to compare my life progress to that of some famouses that also came to be in 1977, that vintage year.
He may have bowed out of the race for presidency but what has Kanye given the world in his 43 years? Yeezys. Music. Kimye. Flesh coloured body suits.
I can’t compete with his billions. And I most certainly can’t compete with his ego. Kanye believes “My greatest pain in life is that I will never be able to see myself perform live,” My greatest pain in life is that I’ll never be able to pee in peace again. Kanye; you may have the bootlicious, trophy wife and three, or is it now four, questionably named children but quite frankly, I think you’re one sandwich short of a picnic.
Let’s face it. She has the face of a twenty-one year old. The body of the goddess. A set of pipes that would rival the indigenous population of the Andes. Her children look like cherubim.
But she’s only bought us a couple of catchy pop tunes and sold over 60 million records worldwide in her 43 years, hasn’t she? It wouldn’t be just that she could actually be a nice person too… So to add insult to injury, not only was she gifted the greatest genes from the pool of life but she’s also been a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador. Closer to home she is the creator of the Barefoot Foundation, helping impoverished and poor children in Columbia.
Yep. There not much of a candle I can hold to Shakira’s 43 years on this planet. However, she sang “Lucky that my breasts are small and humble, so you don’t confuse them with mountains.” Got one up on you there love! Move over Everest! Although my not-so-humble peaks look like they’ve fallen victim to a landslide.
At 5 foot 9, I’d never be mistaken for an elf. At only an inch taller however, Orlando’s meteoric rise to fame came courtesy of a pair of pointy ears and some rough ‘n’ tumble with an orc or two in the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. It added a substantial amount to his FORTY MILLION DOLLAR net worth.
Why is it then, that the defining moment that sticks in my head was when he chose to paddle-board naked with his fiancee, Katy Perry? I tried to picture myself in the scenario – if Chris had tried to pull that stunt (which lets face it, would never happen), I’d have drowned him rather than face the shame of being posted on social media sharing a ride with a willy waggler! Put it away Orlando. You’re 43. You’ve a son and another on the way – no child wants to be confronted in the playground with pictures of their dad fishing with his tackle.
Before I am left with a feeling of inadequacy, let’s round this up with someone I feel somewhat of an allegiance to. Chris was born in 1977. He is a fellow Devonian. We once shared a moment together on Portobello Road – ok, I was at the falafel van and he was coming out of Stella McCartney’s studios but frankly we are practically twins. Separated at birth!
Apart from the marriage to the elite of Hollywood, Gwyneth Paltrow. And maybe the ONE HUNDRED AND TWENTY MILLION dollars in the banks. And perhaps the 7 Grammys, 2 Ivor Novellos, 7 Billboard awards. The Ivybridge Community College Drama Cup 1993 seems to pale in comparison somewhat.
Chris, I’ll hand it to you. You are a Devon-boy-did-good. I bet you he’s still a sucker for a pasty though – we all know that’s why you gave up vegetarianism in 2014.
43 ain’t that bad
So there we have it. The class of 1977. A selection of those who share with me 43 years of experience and life on the planet we call earth.
Do I feel less successful? Do I feel I should have more accolades to my name? Should I have started a foundation?
We all do our bit in our own way. I am proud of what I have achieved in my career. I’ve enough medals from running charitable races to look like a 90’s hip hop artist. But mostly I have friends, a comfortable home and I’m blessed with the best family. I may be an Unyoung Mum but having Harry will be the icing on every cake from here on.
Yep – who wouldn’t like some of the luxury that is afforded to my birth buddies but at 43 I can say I am quite happy with my lot thanks.
How do you feel about growing older? Do you have a landmark birthday on the way? What’s your biggest achievement you would share in an auto-biography of you? And the big question – who would play you in your life story? Can I have Eva Mendes please – bears absolutely no resemblance but she’s seriously hot!