I am watching my younger colleagues strolling down the corridors, with their tight pores, their naturally high cheekbones, their sparks in their eyes. I am realizing that there can be an attempt to slow down the ravages of time with some Botox and fillers. But the vivid light coming from the eyes can never be bought; it is a gift to all youth.
Seeing this youth strutting around the office got me thinking of Kierkegaard my favorite imaginary intellectual lover. And to my mind one of the most interesting philosophers.
He mapped out perfectly what are the different stages of life : there is the aesthetic stage, the ethical stage and the last one is the religious stage, rare are the people who can reach this level. And this path of trying to find the absolute truth besides God is not for me. Hell no!
Champagne Time : the Aesthetic stage
The aesthetic stage is characterised by a constant search for quick and spontaneous pleasures, rapid relief from the danger of boredom, and zero long-term planning.
It is a necessary and natural stage of life, yet it is a violently selfish stage. It views your own mother, even your friends, as a threat to oneself because of their potential of depriving one of their sense of freedom: when one becomes dependent on another human being’s point of view.
There is a constant fight for life as we are aware that we make life happen. It is definitely not a stage in which one needs to be comfortable in, to settle into. At least that is what Kierkegaard thinks.
Indeed, Kierkegaard believes that one cannot blossom merely by looking out for the lightness of life, by living on a day to day basis, and by rejecting any relationships or conditions that threaten independence, freedom. ( I truly loved this stage)
The Damn I am adult stage : the ethical stage
On the other hand, the ethical stage begins the moment one agrees to comply with society’s requirements; in other words, we agree to follow the social pressures of society. Once a pact with society has been established – once you allow it to regulate your life – you are subjected to it, consciously or subconsciously.
It means settling down, buying a flat, getting married, having children. And in my Batavian case, it meant delivering naturally and breastfeeding- I hated so much breastfeeding that numerous times I thought of hanging myself with my deflated titty.
I have entered the ethical stage late, like millions of lucky women who wanted to look into their children’s eyes, with a splendid cheeky sparkle, whispering to them: ‘mummy had a life before you; mummy had loads of fun; but now mummy is ready to love you unconditionally and most importantly make you her priority.’
When I see the corporate youth calculating their mortgages, creating a temporality of life based on comfort and reassurance, I cannot help myself from thinking: fuck your adult life is going to be long! They have already, too soon in my opinion, entered the ethical stage of life. It is important to note that these stages of life are not intrinsically linked to an age group. As proof my young colleagues.
I am glad to have stretched the aesthetic stage to its maximum. I am happy to have been the archetype of the adultolescent running across two continents, treating them as a luxurious playground; partying, drinking and smoking like there was no tomorrow; flipping the bird, politely yet firmly, to social diktat ; living it up in heavenly and exotic destinations while working for prestigious organizations such as the European Commission and Airbus Helicopters.
But now I am a mother.
I am a mother who has accepted that society rules on her life, therefore is there still room for freedom or some folly?
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