I think the weirdest thing about being nearly 30 is that it provides a point against which you can stop and go, woah, all that happened so fast.
I remember my parents being away on holiday one summer, and having the house to myself. Some friends came over for what I play-actingly remember describing as a dinner party. There was couscous, some of which burnt on to the top of the stove. This must have been the holiday between my first and second year at university, and the sense of newness that pervaded everything – that was pretty powerful. New horizons or something.
And then I remember walking along a country lane to be picked up by my mother after doing some temping, working in the canteen of our local nuclear power station. My phone rang and it was my friend Alice, who I've known since I started secondary school. She was calling to ask if I was near a TV, and that a plane had flown into some buildings. That was ten years ago this September. Do you remember what you were doing when
And later I graduated, and my dad got sick, and I graduated again. And all these things are more than five years ago now, but the fact that I remember them so vividly makes them seem closer. I could reach out and touch them, if only they hadn't stopped existing years ago.
I think the point is this: I can now understand how old people still feel young, and how they can't understand what happened to make them suddenly so old.