This photo captures the last few moments in which I still believed I was young.
It was 7.50am last Tuesday morning.
You can almost feel the joy radiating out of me as the sun streamed into my bedroom and I did my best impression of Jennifer Beal in the 1983 hit ‘Flashdance’. (Yes, I actually was dancing to Flashdance).
Seconds later, when my feet reconnected with the floor, I pinched a nerve under my shoulder-blade and ended up doubled over like Quasimodo.
I believe I muttered something along the lines of “Holy sweet Jesus, Mother of God. Owwwwwwwww. F*ck.”.
By the end of the day I couldn’t raise my hands higher than my shoulders, look over my shoulder, or flick my hair (something, it appears, I do hundreds of times a day).
While one colleague pointed out that the most shocking part of the story was the fact I was dancing to Flashdance, a couple of others explained that this was one of those things that happens once you’re … “over 30”.
Apparently there are lots of things that you can do before 30 that suddenly you can’t—or in some cases shouldn’t—do after 30.
Dancing in your underpants shouldn’t be one of them, I mused.
In that moment, life as I knew it ended; I had become old.
“I hear the music … close my eyes, feel the rhythm …”
Okay, I’m not actually ‘old’ but it seems I’m no longer young enough to jump out of bed and bust out a few 80s-inspired dance moves without performing at least 10 minutes of yoga-style stretching first.
As mum kindly responded to my ‘I’ve hurt my back’ plea for help, “Crazy girl. How old are you?”
Not yet old enough to know better, it would seem.
Now that I think about it, there have been warning signs that my twenties, and the ease at which I bounced back from things, are now just a distant memory … all-nighters have dwindled back to once or twice a year (if that), I never go out in winter without a jacket, stiletto heels are often cast aside in favour of flats and hangovers require more recovery time than minor surgery.
I’ve also started drinking tea. Not real tea, more a weird fruit infused water but when you’re a single girl making a cuppa more often than you’re popping a bottle of champagne, something’s got to change.
With change in mind, I pulled on my ankle boots with and hit the town on Tuesday night (that being this Tuesday because it took me a full week to recover from the Flashdance incident) determined to swap my cup of tea for cocktails, dance like no one was watching and not to return home until the sun comes up.
Plus Wednesday was a public holiday and with no intention of tackling People’s Day at the Ekka and with my beach plans quashed due to an unsavoury weather forecast, it seems like a good idea.
Four hours (and about six drinks) later I was sprawled on the bathroom floor trying to work the shower tap with my foot. I can only liken my behaviour to that of a drunken hippo; it’s lucky I didn’t flood my apartment with my butt blocking the drain.
Ten hours after that, I woke up in my own bed (thank god for small mercies) and with one eye open, I surveyed the damage … clothes, boots and towels were scattered from the door of my bedroom through to the ensuite and there was an empty bucket in my bed.
Half-eaten chocolates were scattered on the couch and a half-full (or half-empty depending on how you look at it and at that stage, I was feeling empty) vodka, lemon and lime sitting on the kitchen counter being watched over by Alan.
Tornado Brooke had struck again.
As I called mum to beg for an emergency delivery of a Bacon and Egg McMuffin and Hash Browns, I acknowledged that while growing old can’t be avoided, growing up is a choice and it seems it’s one I’m not ready to make just yet.