Last week I turned 22. I'm practically still in the womb compared to some of my closest friends and colleagues.
And yet I've been nagged by a phrase today. A nasty little creature has been on my shoulder muttering. It's been muttering that I'm getting old.
It started last night, when I sat down to write a shopping list before going to bed. Firstly that level of organisation is rare for me - normally I'll go in for eggs and come out with a newspaper. Secondly the list of items was so mundane that reading it for a second time made me age twenty years: black bags, toilet roll, kitchen roll, toothpaste, milk.
The creature visited me again this morning - I woke my fiancé up simply to ask him to put the clothes I'd put on to wash in the tumble when he got up as I'd be on my way to work. (Okay, maybe I'm confusing increased organisational skills with aging..)
Driving to pick up my fiance from work I saw two teenagers clinging to each other against the wall, groins moving in tandem. The monster giggled and suddenly I was thinking of how cold and uncomfortable it must be, how nice a bed with clean sheets was. I was getting old and they didn't care - to them it was an exciting stolen time never to be forgotten.
And this evening, the creature left. He left because I realised I needed to take responsibility for looking after my mother, all over again just like I did when I was a child. He left because I understood that getting old doesn't mean I know how to solve problems, it just means I have to keep trying until I succeed. And really, that's something I should have remembered from being a child.