49 Up

It won't be long until I am 49.

28 Up was likely the first episode of the Up documentary series (produced by Granada Television, directed by Michael Apted) I encountered. The series documents the lives of British children from age 7 every 7 years. The most recent installment was 56 Up. The premise of the documentary was that by the time we are seven years old, our futures have largely already been formed. Social class and socio-economic standing affect who we become.

If my life had been filmed/documented only once every seven years.. it would look something like this:

Age 7: After a stressful year in which my family moved a few times and I attended three different schools as we made the transition to a house in the country my parents had built together, I had recovered. I was the top of my class at school, and had read all the books in the classroom, such that the teacher sent out to other classrooms for more books.

Age 14: I was the top student in my high school, had achieved some things in sports, and while not exactly popular, I had a best friend and various people did seem to like me.

Age 21: After many years of not leaving the house, I managed to travel to BC on my own, and live independently of my family for 6 months.

Age 28: I achieved a college diploma through correspondence courses, and was living with a man I had met when I was 21. We went on some road trips to the US together, including one this year.

Age 35: I was living in Australia, in the process of becoming a permanent resident (again, after a few years of not going outside). I was married to GK, and I had established the website which would become my most important outlet for expression, independence and personal support.

Age 42: GK and I were officially divorced, and I travelled around the world on my own.

I don't know what 49 will be yet. I am hoping to travel within the next few months. I might explore Australia by train, and/or I might try again to relocate to Melbourne. I hope at the very least to visit Melbourne.


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