Birds swirl high on thermals above, sky-free, wind-soaring. I watch and relax my eyes, following one, then another, and drifting in my thoughts as those carefree wings circle on feathers lighter than air.
I’m drawn back to a theme that’s been running at the back of my mind on a loop for a while. The idea of thirds. There is something of a completeness about the number 3. Points on a solid triangle.
I hope that a life of 100 years is achievable, bar health issues, accidents, and nuclear war. And if that happens, then so be it. But 100 years, split into 3. A beginning, a middle, and not so much an end, as a winding down. Or a ramping up, depending on how you see it.
I am 34 now, and it was a struggle to put a finger on this feeling that niggled at the edges of consciousness, insistent, a tiny breeze that began to blow harder, bringing with it a change, as if of seasons. It seemed like an internalised version of that first scent of summer on the air, hailing that shift around the circle.
My first third. A child, curious and free. A teen, angry at the world. A twenty-something, running on empty. Early thirties, a slowing, a shifting. A new scent on the breeze. A new vista opening ahead.
I truly feel an ending. It is time to leave past projects behind. I have taken learning from lessons I never realised were teaching me at the time. A deeper feeling, telling me it’s time now to shift gears. Healing, renewal, letting go of that which no longer serves me and making peace with the fact that I changed. I changed so many times. In this first third, how many people have I been?
It’s hard to find the words to describe what I feel. A small melancholy, but the balance tipped over by a more youthful excitement. All those years searching for a ‘meaning’, a path, hang-ups and feeling down. Finally reaching that place of true exhaustion – the impact of caring so much about how I look, about how people see me, a place where finally, the energy to continue caring just ran out. And in its place grew acceptance.
I think I had to truly run myself down, to reach this small rebirth. And acceptance is a lighter feeling, as I let go of that first third and wander quietly into the second. And so now, I shout my truths aloud, and relish in the echo of my voice, a strong voice, a celebration. My truths form sounds in the air, and now I smile instead of shun. Heavier than I was, I celebrate myself by wearing loud colours, patterned prints, and not hiding away any more. My hair is wild and frizzy and curly, and I no longer straighten it into submission, instead I dye it wild orange and pink and run about in sunsets. I have depression, and cfs, and I am becoming more comfortable talking about them both. I follow an old path, love a stone circle, and will talk about trees until the leaves fall down. I love guinea pigs, watching clouds, glittery eyeshadow, drum n’ bass. I don’t want children and I’m very happy with that. A fire, a guitar, and a craft beer is my perfect night. I want to write and create, to run in the sea and live on a hill. I’ve been a sleek professional. I’ve been a wild-haired rebel.
And as those birds ride higher, spiralling and falling, I imagine the turning of life, the passage of time, the tick from one third into the next. My eyes close against the sky and I fall forward, into the continuing spiral, flying and looping onward, alongside the free.