3 Things I’d Rather Have Than The Flu
I have the flu. Unpredictable bowel movements, chronic sweaty lower back and migraine-esque headache included.
My insides are pushing to meet my outside while my outside crushes itself together. Oh, the feeling of being turned inside out! Of being stuck in a revolving door that’s set on fire! Of banging your head against the wall, again and again and again! *shivers* But don’t worry about me. I’ll be okay. Death isn’t (yet) upon. Even though, after having slept for 48 hours straight, it feels like it is. Question: can you die from too much sleep? Answer (based on a one-second Google search, so don’t sue me): yes, oversleeping increases your risk of death. Naturally ignoring the fact that death is a risk we all carry regardless of the amount of naps we take; you snooze you lose, a bit more than average…
I’d rather… complain about the flu
Nobody likes having the flu. Or hear others complain about having the flu. However, as someone infected with influenza (not to be confused with the British pronunciation of ‘influencer’), there isn’t much else I can do. It’s the unmentioned symptom that we, as flu-victims, happily remind you of; it’s sudden chills followed by aching muscles and the prickling sensation at the back of your (sore) throat that makes you complain about your nasal congestion with a weak whiny voice. How else can we get that pity cup of tea for free? It’s the circle of life, and it moves us all, through despair and hope, through runny noses and sore throats! 1 like = 1 prayer!
While I’m standing with one foot in my grave, I’d like to take this opportunity to bid farewell to my loved ones. I hope they’ll thrive better than me. Especially after I’ve shared the following life advice about getting older, morphed into a ‘would you rather’ questionnaire, sparked by my birthday last Friday but written down only earlier today because of the flu. *coughs dramatically, making sure everyone’s made eye-contact with me and my flu* (Therewith: I’d like to apologise for the overly ambitious mention of death in this post it’s because of the flu).
I’d rather… reveal my age
Life is about learning how to be comfortable with yourself. As simple and as difficult as that. It only took me twenty-five years to figure this out. Now I’ve got another twenty-five years to implement it into my life. And there you go. Immediately reaping what I sow. Unbeknownst to you, I’ve just tackled one of my biggest ‘becoming comfortable’ hurdles: age. Isn’t it such a cliché that, as a self-identified woman, I find the age-tag (together with weight) so life-threatening that I choose to mumble, lie or be ignorant about it when someone asks for it. As if it provides them a key to my deepest, darkest secrets. As if my age tells them the sweet nothings I whisper to it: how I’m such a failure (for my age), how I’m so stupid (for my age), how I’ve got nothing to show (for my age).
I think the first time I cared about my age was when I realised age meant more than just a number. It revealed expectations of (im)maturity. When, suddenly, sharing your personal space with stuffed animals became something to be ashamed of. Or, when believing in Santa Claus became childish. Even though I was definitely ‘too old’ to ‘still’ believe in Santa or to share my bed with – give or take – thirty stuffed animals, it never was a ‘thing’ until it became one because of the flu (that is, old age).
I’d rather… have cake
And so, another birthday means another thing I ‘can’t’ do. But also another thing I ‘missed out’ on doing. And the reason why the best years of our life are already behind us; because they’re the years you can never get back. No wonder I regularly wake up in a panic questioning whether I’ve peaked at age nine during a show and tell about Coco Chanel. Because I probably did. So happy birthday to me, then. Where ‘let them eat cake’ is not just a misguided battle cry, but a cry for a battle that’s over before it even started.
Yeah, sure, eat another slice of overly sweet bakeries, let them eat cake while I grieve for my lost years. A birthday party is practically your classic coffee table after a cremation, only now the casket is invited inside. Hip, hip, hooray! Getting older is a burden played out as a happy and often unlikely *coughs loudly and makes eye contact* coincidence. To be alive, yet again, having done nothing remarkable, yet again, and missing your age-appropriate marks, yet again; is it really a celebratory occasion or an acknowledgement of how you’ve got nothing going for yourself, you’re wasting precious time and, worst of all, you’re (getting) old(er). *sneezes*
I’d rather… break free
My inability to live up to a (culturally) imagined age-appropriate life, has hold me back to actually enjoy the years (that, and of course the barbershop quartet in my mind who, on a daily basis, serenade me with their number one hit single “you’re the worst and we hate you (regardless what you do)”. It’s a real banger!). However, now that I’ve defied my fear *shivers not because of flu but because of old age*, it’s time to break free. Because not only does the world see us different than who we are, we, ourselves, can see us differently if we dare to let go and breeaaaking freeeeee! Soaring, flying, running, climbing, what else do they sing about?!
Basically: do I judge others for having survived their sweet sixteen for almost a decade? Who (still) happily live with their parents? Who have no idea what they are doing but are trying to do their best regardless? No. Of course not. I judge them on their temporarily nursing capabilities. *clears throat to make sure everyone’s still aware I have the flu*
I’d rather… (still) have the flu
Although I want to have this big eye opener conclusion, with me renouncing my bad habits, embracing my (old) age and announcing my up-and-coming coming-of-age memoirs this summer in a bookstore near you; I, still, unfortunately, feel like a casket at the party. Buried in the crumbs of old birthday cake that no one dared to pick up out of politeness and, instead, have mushed into the carpet when trying to scooch it with their shoe underneath the nearest furniture piece. Truth be told, although you have to scroll back up to even remember my (terribly old) age, I feel nauseous just thinking about it. Sharing is caring, but please don’t scroll back up. Let’s just forget this whole ordeal of trying to live a better life; what’s wrong with curling up in a duvet, anyway? (Until, of course, fever strikes again and you need to get the hell out of there before you are next year’s birthday cake; a little bit overbaked, but nothing serious that the coffee table will notice).
So happy (belated) birthday to me, myself and I! May the flu treat you better than I do!