I'm 25; not exactly 'past it', but I've accumulated plenty already. So many personal histories, that I can look back on - and suddenly realise just how long ago they actually happened.
Recent events always feel too fresh in the mind, that they don't quite register as history. No, for that to happen I think a few years have to pass. Let me give you an example:
When I first moved to London back in 2010, the period 2007-2009 felt recent. Events that had happened between those dates were well embedded in my mind, still perfectly formed memories. I had friends that I met in 2007, that I was still friends with in 2010. The relationships that we shared hadn't changed much, and had become comfortable and very familiar.
Now, 2010 feels like a lifetime ago; but I think it's the fringe of my current 'recent history'. So much time has passed since then, that that 2007-2009 period has been relegated to a hazy period of my life, where lots of things I can no longer remember happened, and I knew people who I no longer keep in contact with. Facebook and Timehop flash back to my history across these years, and I don't recognise what I see. I look so young! I'm doing something stupid! I did that? I wrote that? Eh?!
It's curious, how time shifts, all around us. Today, I checked in (read: stalked) an ex of mine, Clare. It hit me when I did... I don't know this person anymore. She's shifted, too. Worse still, I couldn't remember the connection we'd had. Does that make sense? I loved somebody for a chunk of my life, and I've forgotten why. History has taken that away from me.
Then I looked at (again, read: stalked) my first girlfriend. Her familiar smile smiled back, but this time all I saw a stranger - from my own history, now twice removed.
It's started to happen to my last girlfriend, too - and that relationship was only last year!!
When you think about it, it's an amazing process of change. Every day, in its own small way, has contributed to this new 2014 me; that the 2007 self probably wouldn't even recognise. Sometimes I wonder to myself what would happen if the girl I dated in 2006 met the 2014 version of me, not their twinned 2006 boyfriend. It's a curious experiment. I think the Katie from back then wouldn't like some of the changes she saw in me - the cynicism, the beard, the general grumpiness. Then again, her breaking up with me initiated some of those changes in me - so I'd certainly bite back! I think she'd find good, too. Certainly she'd like the new found confidence, and the fact I live in London, and have been exposed to a greater culture than we could ever imagine for me back in 2006.
But that's a dangerous path to tread, I think. No point living in the past. Time shifts, and I think it's our responsibility to shift with me, or risk being left behind.
I haven't spoken to one of my friends, Jack, in a while - and this experiment is a live one between me and you. We've changed in the two years since last contact. Imagine the personality clash when we eventually meet back up, and play catch up to one another's life shifts?
Back to the point: We all change, and that's a pretty incredible thing. It's like when you drive, and round a sudden corner. To begin with you, going into it, you have no idea what lies around it once turned. But then the car twists, you see the new reality ahead of you; and you're OK with it. However, sadly, you can no longer see the road behind you fully, as you've turned away.
Look up ahead of you: There's a sharp corner.